Which Chinese Super League side should you support this season?

With the new Chinese Super League season getting underway this weekend on Sky Sports, it's time to pick your side...

After a transfer window littered with big-name signings, the CSL season is set to kick-off on Friday.
And while Diego Costa and Wayne Rooney opted to remain in England, the likes of Hulk, Jackson Martinez, Ramires, Gervinho, Graziano Pelle, Oscar, John Obi Mikel and Paulinho have all headed to Asia over the past two seasons.
Picking your side isn't easy, so from the six-time champions to the club with a World Cup-winning captain at the helm, we've selected eight teams from the 16 on offer that may just take your fancy...
Glory, glory Guangzhou Evergrande
Guangzhou Evergrande have certainly lived up to the motto which adorns their crest, which is "Be the Best Forever".
The club have won the Chinese Super League for the past six seasons following their promotion to the top tier in 2010.
Managed by former Brazil and Chelsea boss Luiz Felipe Scolari since 2015, Guangzhou have lifted the Asian Champions League twice (2013 and 2015) - going onto feature in the FIFA Club World Cup, most recently coming fourth two years ago after losing to Barcelona in the semi-finals.
With ex-Porto striker Jackson Martinez and one-cap Brazilian player Ricardo Goulart up front, Guangzhou will be favourites to lift a seventh straight title this season.
Shanghai derby: The face-off
You can pick your side for the Shanghai derby by answering three simple questions.
Do you prefer...
A) Carlos Tevez or B) Hulk
A) Gustavo Poyet or B) Andre Villas-Boas
A) Blue or B) Red
If you answered mostly A's, then congratulations - you are a Shanghai Greenland Shenhua fan, mainly B's and you're Shanghai SIPG through and through. And of course Oscar plays for the latter, if that sways it for you.
The Italian Job ft. Fabio Cannavaro
The new kids on the block are Tianjin Quanjian, who achieved promotion to the CSL for the first time last season.
Led by Italy's 2006 World Cup-winning captain Fabio Cannavaro, the club will be looking to make an instant impression after signing Axel Witsel and Alexandre Pato ahead of the new campaign.
With a heavy Italian contingent assisting Cannavaro behind the scenes, it's no surprise to see that Tianjin boasted the best defensive record in China League One last year - although the former Juventus and Real Madrid centre-back only took charge midway through the season.
Fans of alternative treatments, or cheese
Many of you may have identified the reference to once-Fulham manager Felix Magath, who famously told Brede Hangeland to treat a knee injury with some cheese.
If quark cheese is your flavour of the month, then so too could be Shandong Luneng, who Magath has been in charge of since June 2016.
Shandong could be an outside bet for CSL glory - having last won the title in 2010 before Guangzhou's dominance begun- while the front line of Papiss Cisse and Graziano Pelle could guide them to the championship.
Fortune by name
Quite magnificently, former Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini manages a club with 'Fortune' in their name.
And the deep pockets at Hebei China Fortune has helped them acquire Ezequiel Lavezzi and Gervinho, both of whom played a part in the club's seventh-placed finish last year in what was their first season in the CSL.
The reason for Fortune featuring in the name is down to their owners, China Fortune Land Development, but don't let that stop you from supporting the club with the flashiest name in the CSL.
Jelavic and the underdogs
Incredibly, Nikica Jelavic has been loaned out from one Chinese side - Beijing Renhe - to the newly-promoted Guizhou HZFC.
This will be the club's first season in China's top tier, and unlike the majority of their rivals, they have not been able to inject big-money signings into the club.
As well as ex-Everton and Hull striker Jelavic, Guizhou's list of foreign players reads as Tjaronn Chery, who arrived from QPR in January, Kenyan Michael Olunga, Egyptian Ali Ghazal, and former Dundee United defender Ryan McGowan.
Guaranteed goals
With their matches featuring an average of 3.2 goals last season, Guangzhou R&F were as fruitful up front as they were leaky in defence.
The club scored 47 goals but conceded 50 on their was to a sixth-placed finish in 2016.
Guangzhou R&F also boast the smallest stadium in the league this season, but their fans won't be short of entertainment under manager Dragan Stojkovic - who played for Yugoslavia 84 times.
Source: All Football

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