Mariners ready for Renhe

Central Coast Mariners (AUS) vs. Guizhou Renhe (CHN) • Wednesday 3 April, 2013 • Central Coast Stadium, Gosford • 7:00pm • #CCMvGR

2013 AFC Champions League Matchday 3 - Central Coast Mariners (AUS) vs. Guizhou Renhe (CHN) Wednesday 3 April, 2013 Central Coast Stadium, Gosford Kick-off: 7:00pm Tickets: Please CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to the match! Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter. The official hash-tag is #CCMvGR

Central Coast Mariners' full focus for the next eight days is on its 2013 AFC Champions league campaign after Graham Arnold-s side secured the first week off in the Hyundai A-League Finals Series courtesy of its second-place finish on the table.

The Mariners host China-s Guizhou Renhe at Central Coast Stadium in Gosford on Wednesday (kick-off 7:00pm), with Arnold-s men looking to record their first win in this season-s version of Asia-s premier club competition.

Central Coast Mariners and Guizhou Renhe currently occupy the bottom two places in Group H of the 2013 AFC Champions League, having each recorded a draw and a loss in their opening two matches.

Despite currently sitting outside the second-round qualification spots, both teams undoubtedly understand how crucial Wednesday-s game will be to their hopes of progressing to the knockout phase of this year-s competition.

Victory would propel the Mariners into a great position in Group H, with the reverse leg against Gong Lei-s Guizhou to come next Tuesday 9 April in China.

Thanks to World Sport Group and The AFC, here is some information about our 2013 AFC Champions League matchday 3 opponents, China's Guizhou Renhe.

The Overview Surprise package Guizhou Renhe finished fourth in the Chinese Super League last season and reached the FA Cup final under former national team coach Goa Hongbo to earn a debut appearance in the AFC Champions League. As Inter Shanghai, the club came close to winning the domestic title in 2003 only to miss out by one point to Shanghai Shenhua. They moved to the central city of Xian in 2006 before relocating to Guiyang in south-western China in 2012. Having secured their best top-flight finish in eight years in their first season as Guizhou Renhe following a third place finish in 2004, Guizhou lost the FA Cup Final 5-3 on aggregate to domestic double winners Guangzhou Evergrande. But despite the success, Gao resigned in December just before the start of winter pre-season training citing his desire to move abroad to further his coaching knowledge and former team mate Gong Lei was promoted to fill the vacated role.

The Coach Handed the role just before the start of pre-season winter training following the surprise departure of Gao Hongbo, Gong Lei (pictured above) has been involved in the coaching set-up with Guizhou Renhe for the last five years and the 47-year-old has held the head coaching position on a caretaker basis. Gong scored twice as China, with Gao also in the squad, reached the quarter-finals of the 1985 FIFA World Youth Championship - now the FIFA U20 World Cup. During his playing career, former midfielder Gong played in China, Tahiti, Canada and Hong Kong.

The Key Players • Veteran forward Qu Bo has been a consistent performer for Guizhou Renhe over the last three seasons after spending 10 seasons with Qingdao. The 2000 Chinese Football Association Young Player of the Year appeared in all three games for China at the 2002 FIFA World Cup and was close to joining Tottenham Hotspur following the tournament held in Korea Republic and Japan.

• China international winger Yu Hai has been a regular fixture for Guizhou Renhe for the past four seasons since returning to China in 2009 following a short spell in the Dutch Eredivisie with Vitesse Arnhem.

• Bosnia and Herzegovina striker Zlatan Muslimovic scored 12 goals last season in his first campaign in China after initially arriving on a six-month deal with Guizhou claiming they had beaten off interest from English outfit West Ham to secure his signature.

• Guizhou Renhe also have an Aussie in their ranks, with former New Zealand Knights, Sydney FC, Adelaide United and Gold Coast United man Jonas Salley expected to turn out on matchday 3.

• Creative Bosnia and Herzegovina midfielder Zvjezdan Misimovic (pictured below) will be one to watch. Misimovic-s former Clubs include FC Nurnberg, VfL Wolfburg, Galatasary and Dynamo Moscow.

2013 AFC Champions League Matchday 3 - Central Coast Mariners (AUS) vs. Guizhou Renhe (CHN) Wednesday 3 April, 2013 Central Coast Stadium, Gosford Kick-off: 7:00pm Tickets: Please CLICK HERE to purchase tickets to the match! Twitter: Join the match conversation on Twitter. The official hash-tag is #CCMvGR