ACL preview: Guizhou Renhe v Central Coast Mariners
The Mariners triumphed over the CSL side last Wednesday, but take a vastly changed side to China. Guizhou Renhe, meanwhile, are reportedly reeling from squad disharmony
|By DEJAN KALINIC
CENTRAL COAST MARINERS
McDonald, Sainsbury, Anderson, GriffithsFitzgerald, Hutchinson, Caceres, Bozanic
Rao Weihui, Nano, Sun Jihai, Chen Jie
Yu Hai, Salley, Yang Hao, Zhang ChenglinZvjezdan Misimovic, Zlatan Muslimovic
Central Coast will be eyeing a second-straight AFC Champions League win over Guizhou Renhe - this time, when they travel to the Guiyang Olympic Sports Center.
If they are to secure victory, it will need to come from a vastly different side to the one who recorded a 2-1 win at Bluetongue Stadium on Wednesday.
Preparing for their semi-final against Melbourne Victory on Sunday, the Mariners will take a weaker outfit to China for the Group H clash.
Certain to be missing are the likes of Patrick Zwaanswijk, Pedj Bojic, Josh Rose, Michael McGlinchey, Nick Montgomery and Daniel McBreen, who have stayed in Australia.
Graham Arnold's men sit second in Group H on four points - two clear of the third-placed Suwon Bluewings - and a draw would be a decent result away from home.
Historically, the Mariners have struggled in Asia - this is their third campaign in the competition - and particularly away from home.
In seven trips, the Mariners have lost five times and drawn the other two, and have a goal difference of -12.
Being without several of their best players makes it even tougher, but they will rarely get a better chance on Tuesday.
That is because they take on a Guizhou Renhe outfit which is in turmoil.
Guizhou postponed their Chinese Super League game against Guangzhou Evergrande due to their busy schedule and - according to local reports - there are serious problems in the dressing room.
Former Manchester City defender Sun Jihai, 35, was accused of having more power than interim coach Gong Lei, who may have lost the players.
The reports come at a terrible time for Guizhou, who need to win their two remaining home matches to have any chance of keeping their Asian campaign alive.
Off-field problems can translate to major issues on the park and perhaps more will be revealed about what is happening when Guizhou Renhe take the field again.
They could come out firing and take it to the Mariners, but if they are disinterested, their AFC Champions League campaign will be over.
With Zvjezdan Misimovic and Zlatan Muslimovic in their squad, the quality is there for them to perform strongly at home.
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Top 3 Predictions
Guizhou Renhe 0-1 Central Coast Mariners
- 25 %
Guizhou Renhe 1-1 Central Coast Mariners
- 16.67 %
Guizhou Renhe 3-5 Central Coast Mariners
- 8.33 %
|Asia - AFC Champions League (ACL)||09/04/2013||Guizhou Renhe 2 - Central Coast Mariners 1|
|Asia - AFC Champions League (ACL)||03/04/2013||Central Coast Mariners 2 - Guizhou Renhe 1|
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|19/03/2014||Ulsan Hyundai Horang-i 1 - Guizhou Renhe 1||ACL|
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|26/02/2014||Kawasaki Frontale 1 - Guizhou Renhe 0||ACL|