2019 AFC Asian Cup: Upbeat China gear up for Philippines challenge
Updated 14:34, 12-Jan-2019
Sports Scene
After an opening 2-1 win over Kyrgyzstan in a Group C match of the AFC Asian Cup, China are back on the training pitch to gear up for the Philippines game on Friday. Chinese Captain Zheng Zhi was included in the session and is available for selection after serving a suspension.
Forward Wu Lei suffered a knock to his left shoulder during Sunday's match and is a doubt for Friday, while his fellow strikers Wei Shihao and Xiao Zhi are yet to recover from the injuries that ruled them out of China's opener.
China's head coach Marcello Lippi has a selection headache and could opt to start with Beijing Guoan forward Yu Dabao, who scored the winner against Kyrgyzstan after coming as a super sub. 
But Zheng Zhi believes in his coach, saying Lippi is fully focused on the task in hand.
"The meeting was a routine gathering in which the head coach gave his conclusions about our opening game. He shared his views and thoughts on the match with all of the players," the Chinese captain mentioned.
China's Captain Zheng Zhi, who missed the opener, is now ready for the upcoming Philippines match on Friday. /VCG Photo

China's Captain Zheng Zhi, who missed the opener, is now ready for the upcoming Philippines match on Friday. /VCG Photo

"We have done this after our previous games as well – and many other head coaches also do the same thing  as the match just happened a day earlier, and the players still have clear memories of the entire contest, so when the coach gave us his analysis, the players were able to take away a better impression and understanding."
The return of Zheng will surely bolster the Red brigade as he is likely to be inducted to the Starting XI against a gung ho Filipino side, led by former England coach Sven Goran Eriksson.
The Swede has an impressive number of teams on his CV and his past coaching roles include not only Lazio and England but also Guangzhou R&F and Shanghai SIPG in the Chinese Super League (CSL). That makes him quite familiar with some of the Chinese players like the forward Wu Lei. 
Despite losing 1-0 to South Korea, Philippines did a lot of good in their debut. “I would like to see that we dominate and keep the ball better against China. " Eriksson looks ahead.

Read more: A replay of China's first match in 2019 AFC Asian Cup