China have the chance to retain their spot at the top of Group C when they face the Philippines in their second Asian Cup match

Friday, 11th January 2019 01:04:00 PM

China coach Lippi and Philippines manager Eriksson will both be vying to secure a spot in the knockout phases following the group stage, which is underway, with China having registered an opening day win against Kyrgyzstan – while the Philippines sit bottom off the group having lost their first match to South Korea.

Potential Philippines XI: Falkesgaard; de Murga, Sato, Palla, Aguinaldo; J. Younghusband, Ott, Schrok, Ramsey; P. Younghusband, Patino.

Potential China XI: Dalei; Linpeng, Xiaoting, Chengdong, Yang; Zhi, Junmin, Xuri; Lin, Lei, Dabao.

China will head into the match with more momentum than the Philippines after their 2-1 opening day fixture, while their opponents fell to an unfortunate 1-0 defeat against a resilient South Korea.

Eriksson has said in the past that Lippi was a close companion after the two faced each other together in Italy and China, though for 90 minutes on Friday will see their friendship take a backseat.

The Swede spent four years in Chinese football from 2013 to 2017 and also played against one another in Italy – Eriksen at Sampdoria and Lazio and Lippi at Inter, Juventus and Napoli.

Eriksens reign as Azkals manager is a short stint – his reign starting in November 2018 – with his duties ending following the conclusion of his sides participation in the tournament, though he has vowed to make it one to remember.

"I respect him and he is a good friend but tomorrow at 5.30pm, our friendship will have to take a backseat for a while. I wish him well but not for tomorrow," said Eriksson.

"The players are very excited about the match, especially after our performance against Korea Republic. This is a chance for them to prove themselves again.

"This generation of players have so much promise and I am sure that in 10 years, football will enjoy more importance in the Philippines."

China have an edge of their opponents as the last meeting between the two ended in an 8-1 win in June 2017. They capitalised on a Pavel Matyash own goal in their debut game against Kyrgyzstan that was doubled by a Yu Dabao strike late in the second half, with Akhlidin Israilovs first-half goal not enough to pick up a draw.

They currently top the group with one win in one and remain in first place over 2018 Asian Games winners South Korea.

Source : Goal.com

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