Guangzhou Evergrande - FC Tokyo Preview: First Asian Champions League encounter for Lippi awaits
The two attack-oriented squads will vie for a spot in the ACL quarter-finals in what is expected to be yet another tense encounter between Chinese and Japanese clubs
By Dan Orlowitz
Zhang Linpeng, Feng Xiaoting, Zheng Zhi, Sun Xiang
Cho Won-Hee, Zhao Xuri, Qin Sheng
Gao Lin, Cleo, Conca
Ishikawa, Kajiyama, Lucas
Newly-installed Guangzhou Evergrande manager Marcello Lippi will have a challenging match on his hands when his side hosts ACL debutants FC Tokyo on Wednesday night. Guangzhou Tianhe is expected to be packed with supporters dressed in the club's traditional red for the encounter, but ironically this may put the team under more pressure; Evergrande lost two group stage matches at home. Defensive concentration will also be key for the hosts as centre-back Zheng Zhi has made his share of howlers in the last two matches.
Meanwhile, Ranko Popovic has the tough task of guiding his Tokyo squad to the quarter-finals in their first ACL appearance. The capital city club have flourished under his leadership, going unbeaten in the last four league matches. The high-flying Evergrande attack will provide one of the biggest challenges yet for Tokyo in the competition, and Popovic has experimented in recent matches with a reshuffling of his back line.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Guangzhou Evergrande are the last remaining Chinese Super League (CSL) club in the competition
- The reigning CSL champions replaced former manager Lee Jan-Soo with Lippi despite finishing first in the group stage and leading the league.
- Dortmund star Lucas Barrios will join Evergrande later this summer.
- FC Tokyo's league form (sixth place after 12 matches played with one game in hand) is the best of the J-League's four ACL entrants.
- The club spent last season in the second division, but earned an ACL berth after winning the 2011 Emperor's Cup on New Year's Day.
- Shuichi Gonda and Hideto Takahashi (pictured right) both received call-ups for Japan's upcoming World Cup qualifiers against Oman, Jordan, and Australia.
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Top 3 Predictions
Guangzhou Evergrande 1-2 F.C. Tokyo
- 14.11 %
Guangzhou Evergrande 0-2 F.C. Tokyo
- 10.43 %
Guangzhou Evergrande 0-1 F.C. Tokyo
- 9.82 %
|Asia - AFC Champions League (ACL)||30/05/2012||Guangzhou Evergrande 1 - F.C. Tokyo 0|
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|18/03/2014||Guangzhou Evergrande 3 - Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors 1||ACL|
|12/03/2014||Yokohama F Marinos 1 - Guangzhou Evergrande 1||ACL|
|26/02/2014||Guangzhou Evergrande 4 - Melbourne Victory 2||ACL|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed