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AFC Champions League

  • 27 August 2014
  • • 22:00
  • • Tianhe Stadium, Guangzhou (Canton)
  • Referee: R. Sato
  • • Attendance: 39874

Aggregate 2 - 2 Western Sydney Wanderers win on away goals

Guangzhou Evergrande-Western Sydney Preview: Wanderers ready for fiery night

Guangzhou Evergrande-Western Sydney Preview: Wanderers ready for fiery night

Can the Wanderers hold on to their slim advantage to trump the reigning champions and reach the final four of the AFC Champions League?

Western Sydney Wanderers take a slender 1-0 advantage into Wednesday night's AFC Champions League quarter-final second leg against defending champion Guangzhou Evergrande in what is sure to be a fiery night in China.

After a combustible first leg in Sydney last week – and with social media going into overdrive after the game following allegations of diving and two red cards plus Marcello Lippi's extraordinary display - there's sure to be more tension and drama again with a spot in the last four on the line.

Despite trailing after the first leg, Evergrande should be confident of turning things around in front of their vocal home fans in the 60,000 capacity Tianhe Stadium.

But they will need to do it without two key men and with their coach watching from the stands.

Zhang Linpeng and Gao Lin are both suspended after being sent off in the heated dying minutes in Sydney.

Irate at the referee, veteran Italian boss Marcelo Lippi stormed the pitch, with the AFC handing the 66-year-old a provisional one-match ban pending a full investigation.

But even without their coach and two key players, Guangzhou still have plenty of threats with Italian duo Alberto Gilardino and Alessandro Diamanti and Brazilian forward Elkson a high-quality trio.

China international Huang Bowen, who was surprisingly left on the bench in the first leg, is set to get his chance from the start for this one with Yu Hanchao also an option.

While the big-spending Chinese giants have plenty of firepower to call on, the Wanderers will again rely on their well-organised defence and work-rate to get them through.

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic is almost definitely to be without defender Daniel Mullen, who picked up a hamstring strain in the first leg. Teenager Daniel Alessi is likely to fill that role again after impressing as a substitute last week.

Holding a slight lead, the A-League club will most likely attempt to soak up the home side's pressure before hitting them on the counter-attack.

For that reason Popovic might utilize the pace of Kwabena Appiah from the start, knowing scoring an away goal could be vital to their chances of progression.

Western Sydney arrived in Guangzhou to a small number of young fans holding up a banner saying 'No Diving', following allegations Iacopo La Rocca and Vitor Saba went down easily to get Zhang and Gao sent off.

It was hardly an intimidating scenario for the players but that will come on Wednesday when a packed house will be fired up to greet the men in red and black.

"We already know that it will be a difficult game," La Rocca said in the lead-up to the second leg.

"They will have maybe 60,000 fans there. Last year they won the ACL and for sure they want to go to the semi-finals.

"It will be difficult but we have to be prepared for this type of game.

"The confidence is there but we haven't done anything yet if we don't win on Wednesday. We have to give our best and help each other and try to control the game."

Last Five Matches

Head To Head

Guangzhou Evergrande

Western Sydney Wanderers


Betting & Predictions

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Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao FC EVE
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Western Sydney Wanderers FC WSW
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Top 3 Predictions

Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao FC EVE
1 - 1
Western Sydney Wanderers FC WSW
Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao FC EVE
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Western Sydney Wanderers FC WSW
Guangzhou Evergrande Taobao FC EVE
2 - 0
Western Sydney Wanderers FC WSW