ACL preview: Gamba Osaka v Adelaide United

Gamba Osaka vs Adelaide United (Tue night)

If the other two games feature Hyundai A-League teams that are at the bottom of their groups travelling to the home of the leaders, this Group H clash is different.

Adelaide looked down and out with just a few minutes remaining in Matchday 3. 

A loss at home to Jeju United would have almost certainly spelled the end of their hopes. Yet the Reds fought back to a 3-3 draw and then went to Korea Republic to defeat the islanders on their own soil.

The victory put the team second, level on points with Jeju and one ahead of Gamba. Should Adelaide win in Japan and Jeju lose in China at the already-qualified Jiangsu Suning then the Australians  are through.

Adelaide United will hope to take another step towards the AFC Champions League knockout stage as they take on Gamba Osaka in Japan on Tuesday night.

It won’t be easy. Gamba Osaka famously defeated United in the final of the 2008 tournament and after winning 3-0 at the Hindmarsh Stadium in the opening game,will be confident.

More so after a 6-0 thrashing of Omiya Ardija on Friday - giving the hosts an extra rest day - put the Kansai club up into second. 

What was impressive was how all six goals came from different players.

Yet Adelaide can’t be written off. With the ACL their only remaining competition to play for, they'll be refreshed and ready as they finished their domestic season on April 15 after missing out on the Finals Series. 

Gamba has lost both home games so far in the group, most notably a 4-1 loss to Jeju and the Reds can have hope of staying in the hunt for the last 16 and also a little revenge for 2008.