ACL Preview: Adelaide United v Nagoya Grampus

Adelaide's group stage couldn't have gone any better with four wins and a draw from their six games to finish top of the group and earn a home tie in the Round of 16.

Date: Tuesday, May 29 Kick-off: 8pm AEST Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium

Head-to-head The two clubs have never played each before.

History: Adelaide have continued their love affair with the AFC Champions League by qualifying for the knockout stages again despite a forgettable domestic campaign.

While the Reds had struggled against Japanese opponents in the past, they seem to have fixed that problem with two wins from two over Gamba Osaka in the group stage which should give them plenty of confidence in this sudden-death encounter.

Form: Past five matches: Adelaide: WDLWW Nagoya: LWWLL

Adelaide's group stage couldn't have gone any better with four wins and a draw from their six games to finish top of the group and earn a home tie in the Round of 16. While Nagoya have performed well in the competition, their domestic form has been worrying with just one win from their last four games in the J-League. It's left them in 13th place in the league and out of contention for the title.

Match Committee: The Reds will be sweating on the fitness of defender Jon McKain who has a sore Achilles but he is expected to play. Iain Ramsay is also in a little bit of doubt due to a bruised knee but is also likely to be fit for the match.

Socceroos striker Josh Kennedy has been battling a mystery back condition but came through the weekend's J-League fixture unscathed and should start against Adelaide.

Danger men: Sergio van Dijk - The experienced striker hasn't been John Kosmina's first choice of late but is still a deadly finisher in front of goal. He came off the bench to score the crucial opener against Gamba Osaka in the Reds' last game and his form has the Adelaide boss considering whether or not to go with two strikers from the start for the do-or-die clash with the Japanese giants. Adelaide will need Van Dijk's goals if they are to progress deep into the competition.

Josh Kennedy - The Socceroos star has struggled with injury of late but is still a major threat to Adelaide's hopes of victory. He has three goals in eight J-League games so far this season which isn't a bad return considering Nagoya's poor start to the season domestically.

Defender Marcus Tulio Tanaka will also need to be watched closely. He's not only hard to get past at the back but knows where the goal is and scored in both games against the Central Coast in the group stage.

At the end of the day… Adelaide have done a superb job in getting through to the knockout stages by topping their group.

Considered the least likely of the three Australian sides to progress before the tournament, the Reds have defied the odds and done it on the back of a well-structured game plan, resolute defence but also some pretty impressive football. Kosmina couldn't have asked for any more from his troops but this is where the real test begins.

Sudden-death football is a whole new beast and it will be interesting to see how this Reds squad handle the pressure. While the Nagoya team is full of players with international experience, Adelaide don't have that luxury and will rely on their organisation and team spirit to get them through this one.

Nagoya have struggled domestically and their form has been very inconsistent while the Reds have had the luxury of focusing on nothing but this game. With that in mind as well as home ground advantage, the Reds should just get over the line in a tight and tense affair.