Blow for Shanghai SIPG ahead of Victory clash

Shanghai SIPG will be without captain Sun Xiang for their AFC Champions League (ACL) group stage opener against Melbourne Victory on Wednesday.

SIPG coach Sven-Goran Eriksson declared the 34-year-old defender is close to returning to action but the match at AAMI Park is too soon for Sun, who is recovering from a hamstring injury.

Sun is one of three players in Eriksson’s squad, who have previously won the ACL with Guangzhou Evergrande.

“The captain will not start tomorrow,” Eriksson, a former England manager, said at his pre-match press conference on Tuesday.

“The captain he’s injured. He will be ready, hopefully, for the next game.”