Chinese Super League
A new player on the scene in comparison to the other major footballing leagues, the Chinese Super League is making up for lost time with some eye-watering investment. Chinese clubs are chucking money around like there is no tomorrow and it's allowed them to attract some big names both in terms of players and managers to the league. With an improving standard and coverage of games now live on Sky Sports, UK-based football fans now have another domestic league on their radar when betting on football. With the league running between March and November, it also provides a host of action over the barren summer months in Europe. Check out FREEbets.org.uk for all the latest free bets, betting offers and odds enhancements related to the Chinese Super League.
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Chinese Football Betting Markets
When it comes to placing your bet on the Chinese Super League, you may actually be surprised by the vast amount of options you can bet on. With Sky Sports now having broadcasting rights, you can watch the games unfold so the option of in-Play betting becomes even more enticing. It's much like any of the other big leagues and pretty much of all of the bookies' will offer odds on the games. With 240 games taking place over the season, there are markets on offer related to each game as well punters being able to bet on:
- League Winner
- Top Goalscorer
- Top 3 Finish
- To finish in the top half
- Bottom 2 finish
2020 Chinese Super League
The new Chinese Super League season was scheduled to get underway on 22 February and run until October. The new season has yet to begin. No date has yet been given for when the season will get underway.
The new arrivals this season are Qingdao Huanghai and Shijiazhuang Ever Bright after promotion from League One, while Shenzhen FC and Beijing Renhe have gone the other way.
There appears to be a substantial shift in what we can expect from the CSL this year due to a salary cap being brought in, with around two million pounds-a-year the limit for a player and a total salary cap of around 95 million dollars-per-year.
This is a massive reduction on what some clubs have been dishing out to star players, but it is yet to be seen how much impact this will have, as clubs are expected to find loopholes in the rules.
Guangzhou Evergrande go in as the defending champions and will be expected to perform well again under manager Fabio Cannavaro.
2019 Chinese Super League
Beijing Guoan were heavily backed for success in the Chinese Super League this season, with the likes of Renato Augusto, Cedric Bakambu and Jonathan Viera in their ranks.
The Imperial Guards haven't won the title since 2009 and their long wait goes on as Guangzhou Evergrande returned to their dominant position at the top of the division, as they have been for much of the last decade.
It was a close-run thing in the end, with Beiing Guoan only finishing two points behind the champions, but in trute, Evergrande really dominated the league, finishing with the best defence and most potent attack over the season, with Brazilian's Paulinho and Elkeson on the score sheet on a regular basis.
Defending champions Shanghai SIPG could not quite mount a sustainable challenge, finishing third as star names Oscar, Hulk and Marko Arnautovic could not keep them in contention.
At the wrong end of the table, Beijing Renhe and Shenzhen FC suffered relegation after torrid seasons.
2019 Chinese Super League table
- Guangzhou Evergrande 72
- Beijing Guoan 70
- Shanghai SIPG 66
- Jiangsu Suning 53
- Shandong Luneng 51
- Wuhan Zall 44
- Tianjin TEDA 41
- Henan Jianye 41
- Dalian Yifang 38
- Chongqing Dangdai Lifan 36
- Hebei China Fortune 33
- Guangzhou R&F 32
- Shanghai Shenhua 30
- Tianjin Tianhai 25
- Shenzhen F.C. 21
- Beijing Renhe 14
Top Goal Scorers
Israel international striker Eran Zehavi continued his incredible scoring form since arriving at Guangzhou R&F in 2016.
He has been unerringly consistent in front of goal since arriving from Maccabi Tel Aviv and has finished top scorer in the league for the second time, comfortably out-stripping his rivals.
Zahavi finished 2019 with an outrageous Chinese Super League record of 84 goals in 93 games.
- Eran Zahavi - Guangzhou R&F 29
- Paulinho - Guangzhou Evergrande 19
- Elkeson - Guangzhou Evergrande 18
- Alex Teixeira - Jiangsu Suning 18
- Graziano Pellè - Shandong Luneng 17
- Yannick Carrasco - Dalian Yifang 17
Betting on The Chinese Super League
The initial influx of foreign talent to the Chinese Super League may have slowed down from a few years ago, but there are still a host of big names playing in 2019, with Shandgong Luneng Taishan boasting Marouane Fellaini and Graziano Pelle in their ranks.
The Chinese talent is yet to really emerge ahead of the imported players, but there are a few to keep an eye on that will perform this season.
Jiangsu Suning's Xie Pengfei has been improving in recent seasons and looks to be coming into his peak at 25-years-old, while Guoan captain Yu Dabao is a very reliable performer and is bound to be amongst the goals again.
There has been a serious boost in interest in Dalian Yifang after Rafael Benitez swapped Newcastle United for a new challenge in the Chinese Super League at the start of July. The Spaniard took over a team which has Yannick Carrasco and Marek Hamsik in its starting line-up, while he has brought Salomon Rondon along with him after working with him at St James' Park. Emmanuel Boateng is also a serious force up front and a regular on the score sheet.
Guangzhou Evergrande were the dominant force in the CSL from 2011-2017, winning all seven league titles in that time and were a very safe bet for those investing in the Chinese Super League. However, the tide appeared to have turned in 2018, when Shanghai SIPG broke the grip of Evergrande on the domestic title and pushed them into second place.
SIPG had fired some warning shots in recent seasons, finishing runners-up in two of the three previous campaigns, finally taking top spot in 2018. When betting on the CSL, Evergrande and SIPG remain the teams to back on a regular basis and will continue to be going forward as Evergrande proved again in 2019.
The most reliable goal scorers in CSL history are all active and still banging them in to this day, and are often worth backing to find the back of the net. The league’s record scorer, Han Peng, is still going for Beijing Renhe, but his best days are behind him. The more appealing strikers are Wu Lei and Elkeson and, of course, Zahavi.
Wu Lei had been a reliable goal scorer in China for almost a decade and finished top scorer in the CSL in 2018 with 27 goals in 29 games for Shanghai SIPG. It was his consistency up front that went a long way to SIPG finally winning the league title. At the end of the 2018 season, his league record in China stood at 151 goals in 296 games, before his big move to Espanyol in La Liga. Wu’s ex-team mate Elkeson is still a reliable campaigner and is the third top scorer in the Super League’s history.
Tell me a bit more about the Chinese Super League
The subject of betting related to the Chinese Super League is actually a bit of a sore one. When the league was founded in 2004, the inaugural season was dogged by controversies largely related to match fixing and other gambling related issues. These issues had huge detrimental effects on the league, resulting in a drop in attendances with many of the clubs suffering from financial difficulties as a consequence. However the governing bodies have slowly but surely got their act together in recent years and large-scale investments in clubs across the country has led to a far more favourable view of Chinese football.
It was in 2010 there was another corruption when high profile figures were jailed but the following year saw the first real influx of the big names. The likes of Nicolas Anelka and Didier Drogba arrived to bolster the playing staff whilst Italy's World Cup winning manager of 2006 Marcello Lippi arrived to take over at Guangzhou Evergrande. It was in 2016 however that things began to get really interesting, Jiangsu Suning broke their transfer record twice in the same month to sign Brazilian duo Ramires and Alex Texeira from Chelsea and Shakhtar Donetsk respectively. Colombian striker Jackson Martinez signed for Guangzhou Evergrande in the same month in another big money move and those deals were followed up by an even bigger spending spree by Chinese clubs in the 2017 window. A huge £325 million was spent on the likes of Carlos Tevez, Axel Witsel and Chelsea midfielder Oscar, who cost a reported £60 million on his own. Carlos Tevez's move to Shanghai Shenhua was also big news with some reports suggesting it made him the World's highest paid player with an annual salary of a staggering £31 million.
The clubs of the Chinese Super League are not messing around when it comes to transfers and in every transfer window more and more high profile names are linked with making the move to the Far East. They are showing that with their financial power, they have what it takes to outspend the top European clubs, so the Champions League hierarchy should perhaps be a little concerned that they may be set to lose some of their star men.