Lavicka mum on Carle swap

Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka is playing his cards close to his chest in terms of who will replace playmaker Nicky Carle in Wednesday night's AFC Champions League clash against J-League outfit Kashima Antlers at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka is playing his cards close to his chest in terms of who will replace playmaker Nicky Carle in Wednesday night's AFC Champions League clash against J-League outfit Kashima Antlers at the Sydney Football Stadium.

Carle suffered a hamstring injury in last week's 1-1 draw with Shanghai Shenhua, continuing his wretched run with injury since joining the club at the start of last season.

Lavicka insists he has a few options in terms of who steps in for Carle, who scored in last week's game, but was in no mood discuss exactly who will fill that role.

"We've decided already unfortunately Nicky is out for the game tomorrow night but we have to solve the problem and put a fresh player on the park," he said.

"We have several young, talented players so one of them will replace Nicky Carle."

Dimitri Petratos is the logical replacement for Carle, but Lavicka said he had other options open to him as well.

"We have several young, talented players and Dimi Petratos is one of them but we also have another one as well," he said.

"So sorry I don't like to say now but you will see tomorrow before the game."

Kashima coach Oswaldo Oliveira is well aware of how influential Carle will be, but he won't be underestimating the home side in their marquee player's absence.

"I've been in football for a long time and I have seen too many times this situation - a team who has lost two or three players and plays better than before," Oliveira said.

"So we have to take care with ourselves and prepare our team to face the opponent here away and our goal is too bring back to Japan a good result because over there we are going to have another three matches and there's a good chance to get our qualification."

Lavicka said he expects to make a few changes to his side with several players still in doubt 24 hours out from the game.

"I can't confirm that everybody will be all right because after the last game we had several other medical problems so we can expect two, maybe three changes tomorrow," he said.