By Michael Church
HONG KONG (Reuters) - The opening rounds of the 2021 Chinese Super League season will be held in bio-secure hubs in Guangzhou and Suzhou, the Chinese Football Association have announced, with the new campaign to begin on April 20.
Eight-time champions Guangzhou FC, who were runners-up last year, will feature in group A in their home city alongside Chinese FA Cup winners Shandong Taishan as well as Guangzhou City and Shenzhen FC.
Chongqing Athletic, Henan Songshan Longmen, Qingdao FC and Cangzhou Lions will complete the group A line-up.
Group B will be played in Suzhou and will contain last season's third-placed club Beijing Guoan as well as 2018 champions Shanghai Port and Shanghai Shenhua.
Hebei FC, Tianjin Tigers, Dalian Pro, Changchun Yatai and Wuhan FC will also play in group B.
Last year's champions Jiangsu FC will not feature in the 2021 season after the club was not granted a licence by the Chinese football authorities after owners Suning announced they had ceased operations at the end of February.
(Reporting by Michael Church, Editing by Michael Perry)