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The former Chelsea striker wasn't fit enough to play in midweek but could make his maiden appearance in China off the bench on Sunday

Didier Drogba could make his debut in Sunday's Chinese Super League clash with Guangzhou R&F but only off the bench according to Shanghai Shenhua boss Sergio Batista.

The 34-year-old Ivorian striker arrives in China eight days ago to a huge welcome but is yet to make his debut for the club, missing their midweek Chinese FA Cup clash with Changchun Yatai, as he builds his fitness.

Batista spoke to reporters ahead of Sunday's clash with R&F, admitting Drogba could be handed his debut although he said the former Chelsea man was not 100 per cent fit and would only play as a substitute if at all.

"He is a player who could score many goals. We really expect some great performances in the future," Batista said after the midweek clash with Changchun.

"But the truth is now he has not touched a ball in a few days. However on Sunday, we might let him play for about 30 minutes.

"He needs to reach 100 per cent fitness step by step."

Referring to the cup clash with Changchun Yatai, Batista said: "Didier Drogba still had some difficulty with his physical condition.

"We discussed this before the match. I asked Didier if he was ready for the game and he told me his condition was not good."

Shenhua are currently 13th in the 16-team Super League, having won last weekend's Chinese derby 3-1 over Beijing Guoan, while Guangzhou R&F are fifth following their shock Guangzhou derby victory over Evergrande last Sunday.

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