Tough task for Mariners in ACL playoff clash

CENTRAL Coast Mariners will have to get past Chinese Super League club Guangzhou R& F at Gosford on Tuesday to progress to the group stage of the AFC Asian Champions League for the fifth time in 10 years.

The Blue Lions have replaced Eriksson with Romanian Cosmin Contra, who had stints at AC Milan, Atletico Madrid and Getafe during his playing career.

Most of the Guangzhou squad are Chinese, although Spanish midfielder Michel, formerly with Getafe, adds class to the line-up.

The winner of the match will join Gamba Osaka, Seongnam FC and Buriram United in Group F.

Brisbane Roar and titleholders Western Sydney Wanderers are already through to the group stage.