Adelaide United are riding a wave of confidence into their defining Asian Champions League football fixture on Wednesday night, captain Eugene Galekovic says.
A win against Uzbekistan’s Bunyodkor at Hindmarsh Stadium will send United into the rich tournament’s group of 16, most likely from top of their group.
Galekovic says the Reds have added motivation of a possible home group-of-16 match if they can overcome the Uzbeks.
Adelaide lead their group by three points from Bunyodkor and Korea’s Pohang Steelers with two games remaining.
“The confidence has built up nicely,” Galekovic said on Tuesday.
“We have got a few good results and that has given us a lot of confidence.
“We have put ourselves in a position where, if we win, we’ll most likely get a group-of-16 game at home, so that is our aim – win the game and top spot.”
Adelaide appear likely to use their key attacking weapon Dario Vidosic for a starting assault in his return from a hamstring strain, assistant coach Luciano Trani said.
“He has shown signs that he’s good enough to be part of the game,” Trani said of the No.10.
“Being on the front foot is probably a good indicator of where we want start the game.”
While a draw against Bunyodkor, who Adelaide downed 2-1 in Tashkent six weeks ago, might secure Adelaide’s progression, Trani said there was no doubt of the Reds’ aim.
“Go for the win,” he said.
“We have got a home game here and we want to take advantage of it.
“A win will confirm our top two but, more importantly, it might give us the top spot and a home second round, which is a huge advantage.”
Striker Sergio van Dijk is likely to start on the bench after, like Vidosic, missing their last ACL game a fortnight ago.
The duo give Adelaide added firepower as they seek to make amends for their A-League flop when they won just five games and finished second bottom.
Galekovic agreed the Asian tournament was offering Adelaide swift redemption for their dismal domestic season.
“Yeah, all the boys see it like that,” he said.
“We were disappointed, frustrated during the season.
“And this makes up for a little bit – a bit of success in the season always helps.”
Adelaide’s final group match is away to Japan’s Gamba Osaka on May 16.