Reds to unleash Agostino

Adelaide is set to call on veteran striker Paul Agostino for just his sixth start of the season as the Reds look to unlock Melbourne's defence in the home leg of the Major Semi-Final on Saturday.

Adelaide is set to call on veteran striker Paul Agostino for just his sixth start of the season as the Reds look to unlock Melbourne's defence in the home leg of the Major Semi-Final on Saturday.

Agostino, who is set to retire at the end of the season, is yet to score a goal in seven appearances this season, but his imposing presence is likely to see him start up front in Saturday's match at Hindmarsh Stadium.

Coach Aurelio Vidmar has said the three losses to Melbourne so far this season have prompted him to re-think his approach and he believes a more physical approach up front could give his side an edge.

"We know Paul hasn't played a lot of game-time over the course of the year, and certainly he's one who can play with his back to goal very, very well. He did quite well a fortnight ago against the Central Coast. Against a Muscat and a Vargas, they're quite physical and quite strong, so someone with Paul's presence will certainly be a help for us," he said.

The main area of improvement Vidmar has earmarked from the two 1-0 losses at Telstra Dome and the 3-2 defeat at Hindmarsh Stadium is retaining possession when in attack and Agostino's strength on the ball could give Adelaide a distinct advantage.

"There's going to be times in the game where, we encourage our guys to get forward. What happens is when we've got the ball and try to get numbers in the box and try to break their defensive marking, and we get past their midfielders, we lose possession," he said.

"They're chasing us and all of a sudden we're in front of them, they get the ball and we have to chase them. So the key for us is not to lose possession when we get into the front third, we really need to make sure we finish off our action."

Vidmar said the prospect of finals football has his side feeling very confident in this match, with the club's successes in the do-or-die nature of the Asian Champions League a good preparation for this type of match.

"Certainly playing in the ACL final is an extremely big game, so leading up into these finals it puts us in a pretty good position that we've actually been able to taste a final of that magnitude," he said.

"Once again the finals brings different things forward, everyone starts thinking a little bit different because of that word in front of the games now, finals," he said.

"We've had three pretty tough games with them, albeit losing games. Certainly we've learned a fair bit from those games and we'll tweak a few little things tomorrow and hopefully we can get on top."