Vidmar backs Agostino to star

Adelaide United says starting Paul Agostino against Perth Glory is not a calculated risk despite the marquee player's limited game time during the pre-season.

Adelaide United says starting Paul Agostino against Perth Glory is not a calculated risk despite the marquee player's limited game time during the pre-season.

Agostino, who had a shocking run with injuries last year, suffered another setback when he jagged a groin after just one game of the Pre-Season Cup.

But not to be deterred, Reds coach Aurelio Vidmar is backing the 32-year-old to make an impact in the club's Round 1 clash at Hindmarsh Stadium on Sunday.

"He's had the last couple of weeks pretty much full-on on the track so he's pulled up OK. How long he can give us, I'm not too sure because he didn't play the last couple of the games of the pre-season," Vidmar said.

"Once he's had enough, and he can't move anymore, we've got players on the bench that can replace him."

Vidmar said it wasn't a risk bringing Agostino back as other players were also under-prepared.

"We've only had the three games and I don't think you'll see total match sharpness until Round 3 or 4 for everyone," he said.

"I think every team in the competition is in the same situation, even David Mitchell (Glory coach) mentioned it in his press conference."

United is hoping Agostino will join forces with recruit Cristiano to become a dangerous attacking line-up. The Reds scored just two goals in the Cup and that was in their opening encounter against Melbourne Victory. They played out 0-0 draws in their other two matches and missed out on the final for the first time in three years.

Vidmar said the team was creating enough chances but described its finishing as 'rusty'. He's optimistic the wise heads of Agostino and Cristiano will make a difference.

"Having Ago there is certainly a positive presence; he missed a fair of football last year. Just having his experience there and he can lead everyone around him," he said.

"Having experienced players in the frontline is going to be advantageous for us."

"They'll be fine, they're smart players. They know where to move, they know how to control a ball, they know how to play with defenders in their backside and those two are very strong at doing that and they bring the other midfielders into the game."

Other changes to the side will see Paul Reid replace the hamstrung Diego in the midfield and Scott Jamieson tackle the left back position in the absence of the injured Cassio.

Vidmar said Reid and Jamieson were strong replacements for the sidelined duo.

"Reidy is a superb passer of the ball anyway and very experienced; always looking forward and one step ahead," he said.

"(Jamieson will) slot straight into Cassio's position at left back and we tried him a couple of times in the midfield and just felt that he's quite young and a little bit raw to go in there at this point of time."

"He gives a little bit of bite as well because he's a nasty little bugger."