Shanghai: Ghanaian striker Asamoah Gyan will take a late fitness test ahead of Shanghai SIPG’s AFC Champions League meeting in Group G of this year’s continental club championship with two-time champions Suwon Bluewings on Wednesday evening.
The former Al Ain striker, a big money signing for the Chinese club in the middle of last season, was taken off with more than half an hour remaining of his side’s 2-1 loss at the hands of Melbourne Victory on Matchday 1 and question marks remain over his fitness.
“We started the AFC Champions League season with a loss, so the second game becomes very important,” said head coach Sven Goran Eriksson. “Of course for now the most important thing for us is to play our own style and gain three points.
“The good news is that we don't have many injuries. The only question mark is over Asamoah Gyan. We won’t know if he can make it until tomorrow.”
Defeat in Melbourne last week means Shanghai are the only team in the group not to have picked up a point after Suwon drew with Gamba Osaka in the other game in Group G. Eriksson, though, is refusing to worry after just one round of games.
“We will stick to our football style,” said the former England and Ivory Coast manager. “I know our opponents have lots of good players. For example, the Brazilian Santos and their number 22 (Kwon Chang-hoon). We've watched their match videos and have prepared according.
“Every game has its pressure, especially as we are targeting qualification and we lost our last game. But in the last game I had to say that our players did well and it was entertaining. I hope we keep that and show ourselves.
“This season we have improved from last season. But lots of teams are improving too. Tomorrow we are facing a strong one, they are physically strong and aggressive. We have to keep our tempo.”
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Suwon coach Seo Jung-won – who was part of the side that won the Asian Club Championship in both 2000 and 2001 – is hoping his side can build on their draw on home soil in Matchday 1 and is fully aware of the test that lies ahead for his team.
“In the last game we draw with Osaka, so in this round we want to at least gain points,” said Seo. “We know that Shanghai is a strong team but we are prepared for them.
“I know Kim Ju-Young from when I was a coach with the Korea national team. I know him well and am fully aware of his talents. But we won't be afraid of anything, I believe we can win the game.”