China will take on Syria later on Tuesday night in a crucial World Cup qualifier. China need victory to keep their slim hopes of making it to Russia alive, as do the Syrians, who have never made it to the World Cup before.
They have met 10 times previously, with Team Dragon winning six times, while Syria have three victories, with the other match ending in a draw. China scored 21 goals and conceded 8 goals in those encounters.
But it was the Syrians that had the most recent success, picking up a win during this qualifying session – a one-nil triumph at the Shaanxi Province Stadium on October 6.
Up to now, Iran tops the standings with 20 points and have already qualified. Seven points behind in second place are South Korea, while Uzbekistan is third with 12 points, and on course for the playoff spot.
Syria is three points ahead of China, meaning a win for either side is essential to keeping qualification hopes alive.
Special coverage on China's Two Party Sessions by The Daily Mail - People's Daily