AFC Champions League holder Guangzhou Evergrande say they aren't worried about taking on Sydney FC in the 2016 Asian Champions League group stage.
In the draw for the 2016 edition, held on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur on Thursday afternoon, Guangzhou, coached by 2002 World Cup winner Luiz Felipe Scolari, was placed with Sydney FC for the first time in Group A.
The other two teams in the group have yet to be confirmed with a Japanese team set to join and one of either Pohang Steelers of South Korea, Hanoi T&T of Vietnam and Kitchee from Hong Kong.
Guangzhou may be yet to face Sydney FC but they have some unhappy memories of the Sky Blues' Hyundai A-League rival Western Sydney Wanderers.
Wanderers eliminated the Chinese powerhouse at the quarterfinal stage in 2014 on its run to the title and after being grouped together in 2015, each team won at the home of the other.
Guangzhou president Liu Yongzhou took time off from talking to a posse of Chinese journalists to give www.a-league.com.au his thoughts.
“We are not worried about facing Australian teams in the AFC Champions League,” said Liu.
“Australian teams are strong so we will always have to face them, every year.
“FC Sydney is a strong team but again, we are not worried about facing this team. You should ask FC Sydney how they feel about facing the Asian champion.”
Liu said that Guangzhou, who face America of Mexico in FIFA's Club World Cup on Sunday in Osaka, will prepare well for the clash in Australia on March 2.
“We will learn all we can about Sydney FC. We know it will be tough and have a lot of respect for all Australian teams,” said Liu.
“But we don't have a problem against them and we don't play any better or worse against Australian teams than any other opponent.
"We beat Western Sydney Wanderers last season and will do all we can to beat Sydney FC too.”