Sports / China

Lippi looks forward to Asia test

By Qiu Quanlin in Guangzhou ( Updated: 2012-05-29 20:48

Marcello Lippi regards his first Asian Champions League test as a chance to enhance his coaching reputation.

"My first game in the AFC Champions League is not as equally important as the World Cup final, but I am confident of winning the game within 90 minutes. It is a game and, for me, a great chance to continue my success on the continental stage," Lippi, the coach of Italy's World Cup winning squad in 2006, said.

The Italian will face his first major task since taking over as head coach of Guangzhou Evergrande when the Chinese side plays FC Tokyo on May 30 night in the second round of the AFC Champions League.

"It is actually an important game. But no games could be as important as those at the World Cup," he said. Asian glory is high on Guangzhou Evergrande's agenda this season and will provide a tough early test for Lippi, although the defending Chinese Super League champion has already collected four points in two domestic games since his arrival early in May.

"I know the game will be very tough. Facing such a strong opponent tomorrow, we should adopt a balance of tactics – to focus on attack and also concentrate on defense," he said on May 29.

The 64-year-old, who won the UEFA Champions League with Juventus in 1996, is undefeated at the helm of the Guangzhou side, with a 1-1 draw against Shandong Luneng and a 1-0 win over Qingdao Jonoon under his belt.

"I am very happy since I came here; although I haven't had the chance to visit the urban areas since I have arrived. Most of my time has been spent between the hotel and training field," he said.

Speaking at a pre-match press conference, Lippi said he would change the starting lineup as strikers Muriqui and Cleo are recovering from their injuries.

"They will join training today. But I will only decide on the starting lineup before the game," he said.

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