Preview: Beijing Guoan v Newcastle Jets

The Jets may have won the A-League's wooden spoon this year, but courtesy of their fairytale success in last year's A-League Grand Final find themselves with the chance to compete against Asia's best.

Date: Tuesday March 10 Kick-off (AEST): 8pm local (11pm AEDT) Venue: Workers Stadium, Beijing TV coverage: Fox Sports 2 (Live)

Qualification: Beijing qualified as third-placed team from Chinese Super League Newcastle qualified as 2007/08 Hyundai A-League champion

Analysis: Newcastle gets its historic Asian Champions League campaign underway on Tuesday night against a Chinese powerhouse intent on flexing its muscle on the international stage.

The Jets may have won the A-League's wooden spoon this year, but courtesy of their fairytale success in last year's A-League Grand Final find themselves with the chance to compete against Asia's best.

An away trip to Beijing is a tough way to get your campaign underway, but Gary van Egmond will have the advantage of knowing a couple of the opposition's players. Joel Griffiths spent three seasons at the Jets before heading to Beijing on loan and will line up alongside his brother Ryan, who should need no introduction to the Jets manager.

Beijing has traditionally been a side which performs well in Cup contests, having won the Chinese Super Cup in 1998 and 2004 and the Chinese FA Cup in 2003. Coach Lee Jang-soo has had two years to mould a more consistent side and after getting Guoan to second in the Chinese Super League in his first season in charge in 2007, managed to claim third place last year, which qualified it for this tournament.

With Beijing set to begin its new CSL campaign in the next fortnight, Lee Jang-so has brought in a number of new players. Cameroonian defender Paul has been coaxed across from Portugal, Croatian midfielder Darko Matic joins from CSL rivals Tianjin, while Brazilian striker Galvao has also arrived along with the two Griffiths boys and a couple of highly-rated locals.

Beijing also has nine players who have played international football with China, including captain and goalkeeper Zhong Yonghai.

While some of the Beijing side might have trouble finding the right language to introduce themselves to each other, there is plenty of new-blood at the Jets too. Up front, Newcastle has employed the services of Dutchman Donny de Groot, experienced local Sasho Petrovski and former Serie A striker Fabio Vignaroli.

The defence has also had a considerable makeover, with Mark Milligan departing and Ljubo Milicevic, Angelo Costanzo, and Nikolai Topor-Stanley all coming to the club.

It will be a big measure of Van Egmond's ability if he is able to get his new-look team playing well in this match, despite several warm-up matches. The arrival of Costanzo is a big boost in terms of Asian experience as he was part of the Adelaide squad which made it all the way to the final in the Champions League last season.

It's hard to know what to expect from this match, given the wealth of changes on both sides. But Van Egmond would have his players primed for this having failed to muster a whimper in its domestic Championship defence this season.