Reds not Rivaldo conscious

A weakened Adelaide United defence will not focus all of its attention on striker Rivaldo when the Reds tackle Bunyodkor in their first leg of the AFC Champions League semi-final, according to coach Aurelio Vidmar.

A weakened Adelaide United defence will not focus all of its attention on striker Rivaldo when the Reds tackle Bunyodkor in their first leg of the AFC Champions League semi-final, according to coach Aurelio Vidmar.

Part of Brazil's 2002 World Cup team and FIFA Player of the Year in 1999, Rivaldo is predictably considered the Uzbeki's trump card heading into the Wednesday night clash at Hindmarsh Stadium.

He also takes good recent form into the match having scored in Bunyodkor's most recent domestic game.

But Vidmar said he won't be marking the 36-year-old despite his impressive credentials.

"We've never done that, even through the whole ACL group stage or quarter final stage and the Antlers had some very good players in those positions as well," Vidmar said.

"We know how much of a great player he is but I think if you start focussing too much on one player, there's other players."

"He takes pressure off other players so there certainly won't be anyone going out to man-mark him. Obviously there's going to be some pressure on the ball and on the man so that's the approach we are going to take with him."

Containing Rivaldo and his team-mates will be a huge challenge for the Reds who will be without their in-form but suspended defender Sasa Ognenovski.

Vidmar didn't give too much away about his line-up for the clash but discussed the positives of playing overage players in the National Youth League. Former skipper Michael Valkanis has moved freely in a couple of games with the club's juniors and could be an outside chance of selection.

"I know that Sasa has been very good for us but it (his suspension) just gives someone else an opportunity and I think we've got all the confidence in the world that anyone who comes in can do a job for us," he said.

Regardless of who's included in the side, Vidmar said his players will need to put in a complete performance to challenge their semi-final opponent.

"When our team plays above their average, and that's everyone, then we are always a very good chance and that's what the stats have shown in the group stages," he said.

"It's when we have five or six off their game, then it will tell us that we don't win too many games, so we really need everyone firing."

Vidmar is hopeful the sold-out crowd at Hindmarsh Stadium and the fatigue factor for the travelling Uzbeki side will give United the edge.

But the Reds coach laughed off claims that Bunyodkor, not Adelaide, were the shock inclusion in the final four of the competition.

"We must be the super-super surprise packet then, there's no pressure on us. We've got nothing to lose and everything to gain," he said.

Captain Travis Dodd said it had been a demanding campaign for the players but added they were primed for the midweek clash.

"For a game like this you don't need any extra motivation, it's a semi final in a massive competition and you just get on with it," Dodd said.

"The adrenaline is going to be there to get the boys through the game so we look forward to Wednesday and physically I don't think fatigue will problem."