United expects a fight

Adelaide United boss Aurelio Vidmar says victory against AFC Champions League rival Pohang Steelers won't be easy despite the Reds' record of three wins in as many meetings.

Adelaide United boss Aurelio Vidmar says victory against AFC Champions League rival Pohang Steelers won't be easy despite the Reds' record of three wins in as many meetings.

The Reds travelled to the Steelyard on match day one of the 2008 campaign and managed a 2-0 win. They backed it up on match day four with a 1-0 victory at Hindmarsh Stadium.

United achieved the same score line at home in the opening game of this ACL campaign.

"We've had good results against them but I wouldn't say they're our bunnies," Vidmar said.

"We'll be happy if we can get a similar result that we've had over the last couple of occasions."

The top of the table clash has the joint Group H leaders in a tie that may determine the first team to qualify from the group.

With both United and Pohang sitting on nine points, a win for either side would cement its place in the round of 16 with the loser needing to get at least a draw from its final match of the group stage.

A draw would ensure both teams qualify ahead of the final match day, irrespective of the result from the other Group H match between Sanfrecce Hiroshima of Japan and Shandong Luneng of China.

Any notion of the teams colluding for a draw was quashed by Vidmar, with a lucrative home game in the one-leg, knock-out match in the round of 16 up for grabs for the team that finishes top of the group.

"This will certainly be a very different game altogether. They'll want to win as much as we do," he said.

"So it's always a very difficult game over there in the Steelyard. We're pretty confident from what we've already achieved so far in this competition, so we'll go there in a pretty good mood and look for the three points."

United will be without suspended defender Ian Fyfe who picked up his second yellow card of the campaign on match day four against Sanfrecce, in what appears to be the only change to the Reds starting eleven from their previous three matches.

The absence has paved the way for Nigel Boogaard to get his first start since joining the Reds from Central Coast Mariners.

"Yeah I got the call up from Viddie (Aurelio Vidmar), so hopefully I can go there and do a job," he said.

"Fyfey (Ian Fyfe) has been there since the start and has really done well so hopefully I can get in there and fill his shoes and hopefully cement a spot in the starting team."

The defender has been forced to watch United's ACL campaign unfold from the bench and the only hit out he enjoyed was against his former side the Mariners in a midweek friendly.

"A little bit (disappointed)," he said.

"Obviously that's part of professional sport. You have to take the good with the bad and it's how you get through the bad."

"I knew I just had to keep my head down and train. The boys were getting results and you don't change things when it's like that."

The burly centre back is hoping he can match the pace of the game despite this being his first start.

"Obviously match fitness is the biggest thing," he said.

"But hopefully I can keep that intensity up and do a job."