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China youngsters to get EAFF chance

China
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Zheng Zhi must wait for 100th China cap as Marcello Lippi names squad

Dez Corkhill discusses Manuel Pellegrini's crucial match with Hebei and assesses Guangzhou's CSL dominance.

Guangzhou Evergrande's Zheng Zhi will miss China's friendly internationals against Serbia and Colombia later this month due to injury, meaning the veteran midfielder will have to wait to earn his 100th cap for his country.

Zheng, who has played 98 times for China, missed the last two Chinese Super League matches as his club claimed the domestic title for a record seventh time.

However, national team coach Marcello Lippi continues to lean heavily on his former club, with six Guangzhou players selected including Gao Lin and Zhang Linpeng.

Zhang Yuning, currently on loan at Werder Bremen from West Bromwich Albion, has also been left off the list.

Zheng Zhi has made 98 appearances for China so far.

Shanghai SIPG -- currently second in the league -- contribute five players, including Wu Lei, the top Chinese scorer in the current campaign.

The matches will serve as a warm-up for the Chinese ahead of the East Asian Championship, which will be held in Japan in mid-December.

Last month, Guangzhou Evergrande wrapped up the 2017 Chinese Super League to claim their seventh title in a row.

China squad:

Feng Xiaoting, Gao Lin, Zhang Linpeng, Zeng Cheng, Yu Hanchao, Li Xuepeng, Wu Xi, Wu Lei, Yan Junling, He Xing, Fu Huan, Wang Shen Chao, Zhang Xizhe, Yu Dabao, Jiang Zhipeng, Xiao Zhi, Yin Hongbo, Zhao Yuhao, Ren Hang, Hao Junmin, Wang Dalei, Zheng Zheng, Zhao Xuri.

Michael Church has written about Asian football for more than 20 years and mainly covers the Chinese game for ESPN FC. Twitter: @michaelrgchurch

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