Reds gunning for upset win

Adelaide United will use lessons learnt during 2007 when it attempts to upset Shandong Luneng at the Shandong Sports Centre in the AFC Champions League on Wednesday night.

Adelaide United will use lessons learnt during 2007 when it attempts to upset Shandong Luneng at the Shandong Sports Centre in the AFC Champions League on Wednesday night.

After beating ACL champions the Pohang Steelers 1-0 in the first group match, coach Aurelio Vidmar said his team was poised to spring another upset victory in its second match.

Shandong, the Chinese Super League's 'Real Madrid', narrowly beat the Reds 1-0 back in March 2007 before the teams drew 2-2 in the return fixture in China.

In 2007, Shandong was a quick moving side that enjoyed maintaining possession and attacking ferociously on the counter.

Vidmar said he expected the Chinese outfit to play the same style despite now being under the reins of new coach Branko Ivankovic.

"They're a good football side and we had that experience with them in 2007, and we had a pretty good result here," Vidmar said.

"I know it was three years ago but if that is the philosophy through their club, then we won't expect any different, they'll just want to play football as much as they can, so it's certainly a big game and a big challenge for us, but I believe we're in pretty good shape and we're confident that we can come here and get a result."

The Reds arrived in Jinan on Sunday and are raring to go for the match that is expected to be played in near freezing conditions.

The only concern for the 2008 ACL finalists is striker Sergio van Dijk after he pulled up with a tight quad from training on Monday. Van Dijk will have a fitness test on Wednesday to determine whether he will take part in the match.

Vidmar said midfield duo Zhou Haibin and Lebanon international Roda Antar were the key players for Shandong, while he was also wary of a potent strikers Hang Pen and Wang Yung Po.

The three-time Chinese champions boast an array of current and former Chinese internationals, but with the Chinese Super League season not kicking off until March 20, it might be the ideal time for the Reds to strike.

United shares top spot in Group H with Shandong after both sides recorded victories in their opening matches.

But the Reds showed in their 2008 run to the ACL Final, that reputation can count for little and a strong belief can see teams defy the odds.

"We saw the game they played against Hiroshima and they defend well in numbers and then break extremely quickly," Vidmar said.

"Haibin and Antar are their holding midfielders and they're the ones that really dictate the play, and if you have a look at their squad, there are seven or eight of them that are either internationals at this point or have been at some point over the last few years so they're a very strong team."

If Reds striker van Dijk lines up, he will chase his first goal in a United shirt, while Eugene Galekovic, Scott Jamieson, Michael Marrone, Mathew Leckie and Robert Cornthwaite, will want to justify their Qantas Socceroos training squad call-up.