CHAMPIONS South China renew their bitter soccer rivalry with Instant-Dict today as the Caroliners look to carry over their excellent pre-season form into the first match of the new season. The teams meet this afternoon at the Hong Kong Stadium with the slate wiped clean despite the sides' contrasting fortunes in Asian club competitions in recent weeks. The Caroliners enter the match with their confidence sky-high after putting together some decent results since returning from a useful summer training trip to Germany. South China's performances in the first round of the Asian Club Championship and the Aw Hoe Cup made clear their lofty league title ambitions. After holding Malaysian league champions Selangor to a goalless draw in the first leg in Selangor, the Caroliners raised their game to score a comprehensive 2-0 victory at the Hong Kong Stadium. A 4-2 win in the Aw Hoe Cup last week against a Rest of the League XI enhanced their confidence, although their opponents did not include members of Instant-Dict, who were competing in the first-round second-leg, of the Asian Cup-Winners' Cup away to Singapore's Armed Forces. While South China showed plenty of promise in their season build-up, Instant-Dict faltered, losing both their matches against Armed Forces. The Dickies, who ended five barren years in 1996 by winning the Viceroy Cup and then the league, slipped to a 3-2 defeat in the first-leg match against their Singapore opponents at Mongkok Stadium before losing again in Singapore 3-1 in the second leg. However, matches before the start of the season count for nothing. The league operates under a revamped format this season. There are eight teams competing over two rounds with the top four sides at the end of the two rounds going on to play for the championship. South China striker Lee Bullen knows his team need to get off to a good start if they are to retain their title but said the form book goes out the window when these sides meet. 'Instant-Dict experienced a similar pre-season last year when they lost to Shanghai but they came back very strongly in the end and they were pipped for the title by a last-minute goal,' said Scottish import Bullen, who is expected to form a strike partnership with Au Wai-lun. 'Whoever gets that stroke of luck during the game will win in the end. 'I honestly think it's 50-50, but whoever is hungrier on the day will win. It looks very balanced,' he said. The match will have special significance for former Hong Kong Footballer of the Year Ricky Cheng Siu-chung, who faces his old teammates for the first time. Instant-Dict grabbed Cheng's signature at the end of last season. Cheng said: 'I will get on with my job and try not to think about it. 'I'm not playing for South China anymore. I have to do everything I can to help my new team'. Meanwhile, the Hong Kong All China Games team were held to a 2-2 draw by Yee Hope at the Kwai Chung Sports Ground yesterday. PROBABLE TEAMS South China (3-5-2): Iain Hesford; Yau Kin-wai, Aurelio da Silva, Ignic Radislav; Lee Kin-wo, Leslie Santos, Dale Tempest, Wu Qunli, Sung Lin-yung; Lee Bullen, Au Wai-lun. Instant-Dict (4-4-2): Mick Leonard; Auyoung Ying-tsz, Tim O'Shea, Wong Wai-tak, Chan Hon-fai; Chan Chi-kwong, Tim Bredbury, Wong Chi-fai, Ricky Cheng Siu-chung; Paul Foster, Stefan Draganov.