Marcello Lippi faces his first major test since taking over as manager at Guangzhou Evergrande when the Chinese champions host FC Tokyo on Wednesday in the second round of the 2012 Asian Champions League, a competition that his new club is desperate to win.
Lippi, who guided Italy to the 2006 World Cup, has collected four points in two Chinese Super League games since his arrival in Guangzhou this month but the continental prize is higher on the club's agenda this season.
With Guangzhou topping its group to earn home advantage for the one-off, second-round match, Evergrande is expected to progress to the last eight in its first ever appearance in the competition.
That is the minimum target for the ambitious club that has spent $70 million in less than three years on expensive foreign stars including Dario Conca from Argentina and Lucas Barrios, a recent acquisition from German champion Borussia Dortmund.
Philippe Troussier, a Frenchman who has coached Japan, Morocco and Mars...