FC Seoul v Guangzhou FC
H 3, D 3.4, A 2.52
Michael Laudrup and Fabio Cannavaro were giants of the global game as players and can take a big step toward coaching success in Asia this week by guiding their teams to the knockout stage of the Asian Champions League.
With four games of the group phase completed and two to go, both Europeans are well-placed to take one of the top two spots in their respective groups and progress.
Former Real Madrid and Juventus center back Cannavaro succeeded Marcello Lippi at Chinese giant Guangzhou Evergrande in November and a draw at FC Seoul will be enough for the Italian, who has already spent around USD30 million to bring Brazilian stars Ricardo Goulart and Alan to a club that has won the last four Chinese Super League titles.
Laudrup, who played for both Barcelona and Real Madrid, captured the Qatar league title earlier this month with Lekhwiya and a win at home to Iran’s Persepolis will take the Doha team to the second round if Saudi Arabia’s Al Nassr fails to defeat Bunyodkor of Uzbekistan.
“Things are not determined yet as all the teams in the group still have a chance to advance to the knockout stage and we should put more effort to achieve our target,” said Laudrup, who was fired by English Premier League club Swansea City in February 2014 and arrived in Doha five months later.
“There were a lot of challenges this season,” the former Denmark international said of his success at the club so far. “We had national competitions. We had players injured. It was very, very tough. You can’t compare with the Spanish League or the Premier League. This was tough because there were many things that we had to deal with during the season.”
Guangzhou won its first three games in Group G before losing 2-1 to Kashima Antlers of Japan and will be without suspended midfielders Zou Zheng and Huang Bowen for the visit to South Korea. AP