Reds better prepared for Gamba this time around

Adelaide United FC’s Brazilian striker Cristiano believes The Reds have learnt from their previous two encounters against Gamba Osaka and know where they need to improve to get past the Asian club champions, when they face off in the Quarter Finals of the FIFA Club World Cup tomorrow at the Toyota Stadium.

Adelaide United FC-s Brazilian striker Cristiano believes The Reds have learnt from their previous two encounters against Gamba Osaka and know where they need to improve to get past the Asian club champions, when they face off in the Quarter Finals of the FIFA Club World Cup tomorrow at the Toyota Stadium.

United is preparing to tackle Gamba Osaka for the third time, just a month after they squared off in the AFC Champions League Final, which saw the Japanese team lift the trophy after a 5-nil aggregate win. While the score line was one-sided and Gamba heads into tomorrow-s match as raging favourites, Cristiano says United is better off going into this clash because of their previous encounters against the J-League club.

“Gamba Osaka is a team where you cannot give them a lot of space because they play very quick and I think this is a lesson we can learn for the next game,” Cristiano said from the squad-s hotel in Nagoya.

“They play very quick, they move around in the midfield and they play very well to the strikers so that-s why we need to put more power in the midfield to stop them.”

Numerous media sources and reports in Japan have already dismissed Adelaide from having any chance of beating Gamba, and are instead talking about a Semi Final showdown between the local heroes and Manchester United. But Cristiano says football is a funny game and that everyone can discount Adelaide United at their own peril.

“Everyone watched the first two games in the Champions League Final and they saw that Gamba has a very good team and everyone expects that Gamba should win the game but in football you never know what can happen,” the Brazilian said.

“If you see on paper Gamba has a good team, but football is eleven against eleven and you never know what can happen. We have a good team as well and we have confidence so we will see what happens tomorrow.”

Should United defeat the tournament-s host nation representative tomorrow night, European football giants Manchester United sit waiting in the Semi Finals. But while the magnitude of the challenges in front of The Reds is as high as the surrounding mountain ranges of Nagoya, Cristiano would not have it any other way.

“We have a very difficult game against Gamba Osaka. Every game in the Club World Cup is difficult because it is the best clubs from around the world so we have to do our best to win the game,” Cristiano said.

“We are in a tough group, Gamba Osaka and Manchester United, but if you want to win the prize you have to win against the big clubs. It is good for us, for the club if you get to play against Gamba, against Manchester United and it will be history for the club so that is very good.”

Adelaide United-s journey in the FIFA Club World Cup continues tomorrow night (Sunday 14 December) against Gamba Osaka from the Toyota Stadium in Japan. The match kicks off at 9.30pm (AEDT) and can be seen LIVE and exclusive on SBS.