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Central Coast Mariners ready to welcome Italy's World Cup winner Lippi

Central Coast Mariners head coach Graham Arnold is excited about mixing it with World Cup winner Marcello Lippi.

The Italian, who led his nation to the 2006 World Cup, brings Chinese club Guangzhou Evergande to Gosford for the Asian Champions League Round of 16 first leg on May 15 and this season's A-League-winning coach Arnold is looking forward to the challenge.

"Marcello Lippi is one of the world's truly great football figures and it's unquestionable he will be the most famous person ever to coach a team on the Central Coast," Arnold said.

"But while we will show Marcello Lippi and Guangzhou all the respect they deserve, we will not fear them. We have a two week preparation heading into the game and our full focus will be on achieving a positive first-leg result to take to China. We will begin the process of analysing Evergrande immediately.

"Our Club will take enormous pride in hosting Marcello Lippi and the Evergrande team, and the match promises to be a great occasion for all Australian football fans."

The return leg takes place at the Tianhe Stadium in Guangzhou on Wednesday, May 22.

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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