Adelaide United are confident of being the first Australian side to beat Japanese giants Gamba Osaka when the rivals meet for the second time in the AFC Champions League at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Adelaide United are confident of being the first Australian side to beat Japanese giants Gamba Osaka when the rivals meet for the second time in the AFC Champions League at Hindmarsh Stadium on Tuesday night.
Adelaide last encountered the 2005 J-League champions in the 2008 ACL final when Gamba romped to a 5-0 aggregate victory over two legs to claim the championship.
The comfortable victories added to Gamba's illustrious record of never having lost to Australian opposition.
Despite the unbeaten feat and long standing history of success in the ACL, Gamba enters the clash on the back of a rough start to their season.
After parting with ways with former boss Akira Nishino in the off-season following 10 years at the helm, new manager Jose Carlos Serrao is already under considerable pressure.
Gamba lost their opening game of the ACL to the competition's most successful team and three-time winners Pohang Steelers before suffering back-to-back defeats in the J-League to languish in the relegation zone.
With Adelaide sensing a chance to pounce on a wounded Gamba, stand-in coach Luciano Trani - who is in control of the team as John Kosmina does not hold the recognised qualifications to coach in the ACL - felt the Reds could upset their more highly fancied opponents.
"If you're going to play Gamba, you have got to believe that you can win," Trani said.
"History probably doesn-t suggest that but we believe we have got the right patterns of play to create those openings we created in the win against Bunyodkor (first ACL group game)."
"If we can just maintain our discipline, I'm sure we can win Tuesday night."
Trani said despite Gamba's struggles in recent weeks, Adelaide must still remain wary of the Japanese powerhouse.
"They have had a few changes this season and obviously they have lost their last three games but they're a still a team that has got talented individuals," Trani said.
"They have been very consistent over the last six years in the ACL and domestic competitions ... they're a very established line-up."
Adelaide captain and goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic was between the posts for the Reds in his first season when they came within grasp of an historic 2008 ACL trophy before Gamba intervened.
Having opened their account with a grinding 2-1 victory over Bunyodkor two weeks ago, Galekovic was adamant the Reds could return to their former giant killing days by knocking off Gamba on Tuesday night.
"We are confident and have been looking forward to this game since Bunyodkor and coming off a win, the boys want to get two on the trot," Galekovic said.
"Things have changed over there and Gamba have a very young team but they still have same quality players."
"They have been struggling a little bit at the moment losing to Pohang (in the ACL) and losing a couple in their domestic league, so we are pretty confident."
"We know we can win this game, we just have to put things in place and play good football to give ourselves a chance."
Adelaide could be boosted with the return of vice-captain Cassio who was rested in Saturday's 1-0 loss to the Central Coast Mariners following a knock to his calf the week before.