Adelaide keen for another scalp

Adelaide United have their sights firmly set on a quarter-final berth as they look to topple AFC Champions League Round-of-16 opponents Nagoya Grampus at Hindmarsh Stadium on Tuesday night.

Adelaide United have their sights firmly set on a quarter-final berth as they look to topple AFC Champions League Round-of-16 opponents Nagoya Grampus at Hindmarsh Stadium on Tuesday night.

Adelaide gained home ground advantage two weeks ago with a clinical 2-0 away victory over Japanese foes Gamba Osaka that assured the Reds of top spot in Group E, while Nagoya progressed to the knockout clash after dispatching of Hyundai A-League finalists Central Coast Mariners 3-0 to finish second in Group G on the final day of the first round.

It will be the third time in four attempts Adelaide have advanced to the last 16 while Nagoya has qualified for the second round on all three occasions they have competed in the ACL since first appearing in the tournament in 2009.

Adelaide captain and goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic said the Reds are eager to claim yet another high-profile Asian scalp and achieve their goal of reaching the quarter-finals.

"No one has really rated us since day one and we weren-t even meant to get to this stage, considering that, you could probably say the pressure is off of us but as a playing group we want to qualify for the quarter finals - that's been our aim from day one," Galekovic said.

"Others might not see it but we want to progress and go as far as we can.

"We know Nagoya are a quality team, on paper they have are probably a better team than us, but as a group we've showed this year in the ACL that we can match it against the best.

"There's one more game to go and I can guarantee we will give our all."

Adelaide assistant Luciano Trani who has been standing in as head coach for the unqualified John Kosmina, said he has been left humbled by the 'unimaginable' and 'exciting' journey he has been on with the Reds in Asia.

Trani said the Reds should be proud of their work thus far, but echoed his captains' belief of the club accomplishing their main objective.

"We should be proud of this moment and more importantly about South Australia leading the way in Australian football in Asia," Trani said.

"It's an ambition of the club though to make the top eight in the ACL competition."

Socceroo Josh Kennedy has recovered from a back injury and is expected to line-up for Nagoya.

The towering centre forward, who will immediately fly out after the match to join up with the Socceroos squad ahead of a friendly with Denmark in Copenhagen on Saturday, represents a dangerous aerial threat according to Trani.

"Josh is dangerous with the timing of his runs into those goal scoring positions at the near and far post when the ball is out in wide areas," Trani said.

"We must watch those runs and that service that gets played, and stop that from happening."

Galekovic agreed Kennedy was a hazard to United's defence who share the best defensive record in the ACL with UAE side Baniyas, but warned of Nagoya's other instrumental players, in particular veteran Japanese World Cup striker Keiji Tamada.

"Nagoya obviously have got Josh (Kennedy) upfront but they also have another striker in Tamada, whose scoring goals as well," Galekovic said.

"It's not just one guy we have to look out for, there's a few of them, but we will be aware."

Nagoya coach Dragan Stojkovic had high praise for Adelaide admitting the Reds will be a 'real test' for his side, but conceded his focus lies with the J-League domestic campaign.

"I don't have any doubts about Adelaide. They are a very strong and tough opponent who are able to produce very good, patient football - it's going to be a real test for my team," Stojkovic said.

"Of course our obligation is to give our best and to give everything to win. We are not coming to Adelaide to give up, we want to give ourselves every chance to qualify for the next round and be in the best eight.

"But if you ask me whether I'd like to be champion of the J-League or ACL, I'd prefer the J-League because it is a priority for me."