Adelaide United face Chinese outfit Jiangsu Suning in their second Group H game of the 2017 AFC Champions League at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre on Wednesday night.
The Nanjing-based club have invested heavily in their squad following the financial takeover by the Suning Appliance Group, as the team finished runners-up in the Chinese Super League and domestic FA Cup last season.
So here are five players to keep an eye on during the intriguing match…
The Brazilian international joined Jiangsu from English Premier League giants Chelsea in January 2016 when they paid around $40 million for his services. The transfer fee broke the Chinese record at the time, which has since been surpassed, and signalled the intent Jiangsu meant business.
The ex-Blues man accumulated nearly 250 appearances with the club and scored 37 goals. He played an instrumental role en route to Chelsea’s 2012 UEFA Champions League triumph and lifted the Premier League trophy in the 2014/15 season among other silverware.
Ramires, who can operate as a holding or right midfielder, has already found the back-of-the-net in this year’s tournament, after bagging a stoppage time winner in the 1-0 victory over Jeju United on matchday one. The 29-year-old also featured in the 2010 and 2014 FIFA World Cups for the Selecao.
The ex-Shakhtar Donetsk superstar made over 200 appearances for the Ukraine outfit, scoring 89 goals and claimed the league title on five occasions. He was reportedly linked with a transfer to English heavyweights Liverpool, before moving to China in February 2016 as the club’s most expensive signing for over $68 million.
Teixeira is known for his electric speed and sharp shooting abilities, netting 19 times and laying on a further 16 assists in 42 appearances in all competitions last campaign. An injury cloud hovers over the Brazilian leading into the game, but if he plays expect his guile to cause a number of headaches during the encounter.
Jiangsu’s captain, Wu, signed from Shanghai Shenhua in 2013. The midfielder has been capped 39 times by the Chinese national team and boasts an excellent passing range. Although he is not a prolific goal scorer from the centre of the park, the 28-year-old has notched a personal best of seven goals in each of his past two seasons.
The South Korean international stands at 186cm and is an imposing centre-back in the heart of the defence, renowned for his athleticism. Hong, who has amassed 38 international caps, boasts some European pedigree following three years in the German Bundesliga with FC Augsburg. Before embarking on a move to Europe, the 27-year-old represented fellow Group H opponents Jeju United, his hometown club.
At 22, Martinez already has a reputation as one of the league’s most potent strikers. He may not command the name of a Carlos Tevez or fellow compatriot Jackson Martinez, but Martinez took to the Chinese Super League like a duck to water. In 12 games the Colombian international scored a productive 10 goals.
Adelaide United will face Jiangsu Suning in their second AFC Champions League 2017 group stage match on Wednesday, 1 March at the Nanjing Olympic Sports Centre. Kick-off is at 10.05pm ACDT.