Preview: Adelaide v Bunyodkor
Neither side has done much homework on their opponent so expect a cautious start, then let the fireworks begin as Rivaldo and his team-mates chase a valuable away goal in front of a sold-out Hindmarsh Stadium.
Adelaide United v Bunyodkor/Kuruvchki
Date: Wednesday, October 8 Kick-off: 7.30pm local (8pm AEST) Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium TV coverage: Fox Sports 3 (Live)
Previous results: Pohang Steelers 0 Adelaide United 2, Pohang Steelyard, March 12, 2008 Adelaide United 0 Changchun Yatai 0, Hindmarsh Stadium, March 19, 2008 Binh Duong 1 Adelaide United 2, Binh Duong Stadium, April 9 2008 Adelaide United 4 Binh Duong 1, Hindmarsh Stadium, April 23, 2008 Adelaide United 1 Pohang Steelers 0, Hindmarsh Stadium, May 7, 2008 Changchun Yatai 0 Adelaide United 0, Changchun City Stadium, May 22, 2008 Kashima Antlers 1 Adelaide United 1, Kashima City Stadium, September 17, 2008 Adelaide United 1 Kashima Antlers 0, Hindmarsh Stadium, September 24, 2008
Al Ittihad FC Jedda 1 Bunyodkor 0, Prince Abdullah Al Faisal, March 12, 2008 Bunyodkor 2 Foolad Mobarekeh Sepahan 0, MHSK Stadium, March 19, 2008 Ittihad 0 Bunyodkor 1, Aleppo International Stadium, April 9, 2008 Bunyodkor 1 Ittihad 0, MHSK Stadium, April 23, 2008 Bunyodkor 2 Al Ittihad Jedda 0, MHSK Stadium, May 7, 2008 Foolad Mobarekeh Sepahan 1 Bunyodkor 1, Azadi Stadium, May 21, 2008 Saipa 2 Bunyodkor 2, Azadi Stadium September 17, 2008 Bunyodkor 5 Saipa 1, MHSK Stadium, September 24, 2008
Analysis Adelaide United backed up its confidence-boosting 1-1 draw with Kashima in Japan with a 1-0 victory over the Antlers when the two teams clashed at Hindmarsh Stadium late last month.
It was an entertaining and even contest but Robbie Cornthwaite - who conceded an own goal during the away leg - was the hero scoring the match-winner in the 73rd minute of the contest.
The victory has broken even more new ground after the Reds made history by becoming the first Hyundai A-League club to reach the knockout stage of the AFC Champions League.
United has had some domestic success since the quarter final with a 2-0 victory over the Newcastle Jets and a 3-3 draw against the Central Coast Mariners helping them to maintain third place on the ladder.
Adelaide will be looking to forget the second half of its clash against Central Coast - in which they conceded three goals in the space of 18 minutes - because its form previous to that had been outstanding.
The South Australian side had notched up 11 clean sheets in 17 performances and before Friday had three wins and six goals under their belt playing at home.
Keeping Bunyodkor quiet may also prove their biggest challenge in 2008. They will be without the suspended defender Sasa Ognenovski and come up against one of Brazil-s greatest players in Rivaldo.
Ognenovski's physical presence will be sorely missed and it will be interesting to see if the Reds call on another experienced campaigner in the form of Michael Valkanis or look to reshuffle the existing line-up. Valkanis has played two games in the National Youth League but has had limited time with the seniors.
Rivaldo scored the winner in Bunyodkor's 3-2 victory against Lokomotiv in a recent domestic match and will obviously be a key player to watch when the team's clash on Wednesday.
The Uzbeki side is in terrific form having won its last two local games and qualified for the AFC Champions League semi final with a 5-1 thrashing of Saipa at MHSK Stadium.
Bunyodkor coach Ziko believes his side is the 'surprise packet' of the Asian tournament and is feeling no pressure to win.
But Reds coach Aurelio Vidmar didn't buy into the famous Brazilian's pre-match coyness and is bracing his team for a fierce battle.
Neither side has done much homework on their opponent so expect a cautious start during the opening minutes. Then let the fireworks begin as Rivaldo and his team-mates chase a valuable away goal in front of a sold-out Hindmarsh Stadium.