Favouritism won't change Reds

Something is very different about top-placed Adelaide United's lead-up to its Group H match against rock-bottom Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the AFC Champions League at Hindmarsh Stadium on Wednesday night - it is favourite to win.

Something is very different about top-placed Adelaide United's lead-up to its Group H match against rock-bottom Sanfrecce Hiroshima in the AFC Champions League at Hindmarsh Stadium on Wednesday night - it is favourite to win.

The Reds went into their first two ACL fixtures as underdogs, meeting the reigning ACL champion Pohang Steelers in the first match and Chinese Super League powerhouse Shandong Luneng in China.

The Reds recorded stunning victories in both matches to catapult themselves to the top of the group and ensure they're clear favourites for the match against Sanfrecce.

United stand-in boss Joe Mullen is all too aware of just how far underdogs can progress in the competition after witnessing first-hand Adelaide's fairytale run to the final in 2008.

"We're expecting that they need to get a result, no doubt about that," he said of Sanfrecce which is yet to win a point.

"They're certainly going to be taking some good form from the domestic competition into their game but I think it's about us and playing our game. The biggest danger for us is complacency."

Mullen, though, denied that going into this match as the favourite has changed the approach or mindset of his squad.

"It's something we've spoken about," he said.

"There's a different expectation tomorrow night that is we are expected to win the game so it is different."

"The players are aware of that, but we've spoken about concentrating and focusing on what we've got control of."

"Control the controllables and they're the things we've worked on this week."

Reds captain and seasoned campaigner Travis Dodd backed up his coach's assessment of the squad and outlined there's no room for complacency.

"As Joey (Mullen) said the biggest risk for us is not to be complacent. At the end of the day we haven't achieved anything yet," Dodd said.

"We've had a great start with two wins but we haven't qualified yet so we know the only way to do that is keep winning."

"We'll have a positive attitude and take nothing for granted tomorrow night. They haven't had a good start so they'll be desperate so we need to match that."

And Dodd had no sympathy for Melbourne Victory and the tight schedule they have endured recently as they juggled their commitments to both the Hyundai A-League finals series and the ACL.

Ernie Merrick's men will have played four matches in 17 days by the time they meet Kawasaki Frontale in Japan on Tuesday night, but Dodd said it's all part and parcel of professional football.

"We had to deal with it (hectic schedule in 2008) and now I guess it's their turn," he said of Adelaide United's run that saw them play 19 matches in just four months at the end of 2008.