Marcello Lippi blames the flow of foreign strikers for short of Chinese strikers

Marcello Lippi blamed the influx of foreign strikers to Chinese football for the lack of attacking options as the national football team prepare for the crucial World Cup qualifiers against Uzbekistan and Qatar.

“My team is progressing in two aspects: mentally and organisationally,” the Italian World Cup winner told Titan Sports, as reported by Reuters.

”We play to win, no matter if we’re at home or away. But we have one serious problem and it’s very, very serious: I have no forward, I have no centre-forward at all.

”I have to move players from other positions to be a centre-forward. The reason is simple too: clubs can play three foreign players and they like buying forwards.

“We have good choices in other positions but it is a big problem with the forwards.”

China are bottom of their qualifying group with just one victory in eight games. Lippi’s side must win both their remaining matches to stand any chance of making it to Russia 2018, starting with the clash against third-placed Uzbekistan on Thursday.

Despite the dismal performance of China at the qualification, the high-profile coach will reportedly keep his job until the end of 2019 AFC Asian Cup even if his men fail to qualify for Russia.