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Wu Lei one of few veterans on young team for China Cup

CCTV.com

12-20-2016 15:43 BJT

China's men's national football team yesterday the CFA announced the 23 players who will make up the squad for next years China Cup. SIPG, Shanghai Shenhua, and Tianjin Teda all have four players on the list, but due to schedule conflicts with winter training and holidays, no players from the top two CSL clubs Guangzhou Evergrande or Jiangsu Suning will be called for national duty.

Of the 23 players, 14 of them have no previous experience with the national team. And apart from Wu Lei and Cai Huikang, the other nine all have less than ten caps for China.

Coach Marcello Lippi's aim is clearly to give young talent a chance to shine and perhaps join the team for 2018 World Cup Qualifiers.

Evergrande and Suning recently played against eachother in the final of the Chinese FA Cup on November 11th which brought an end to a long season for both teams. So it's not a big surprise that no players from either side are included for the China Cup from January 9th to the 16th.

And the late holiday period may have also resulted in no Beijing Guoan or Shandong Luneng players being selected

With 40 previous appearances for the national team, Wu Lei will be the most seasond veteran for this new team where players are mainly from two Shanghai clubs. That could mean a lot of pressure and attention on the 26-years-old SIPG striker while critics may be questioning some of Lippi's young picks. But nevertheless, this will definitely be the most different and fresh line-up fielded in years by the Chinese National team.

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