Nikola Mileusnic is expecting an end-to-end match when Adelaide United travel to face the Newcastle Jets at McDonald Jones Stadium on Saturday.
Nine-man Adelaide held on for a resilient 2-1 triumph over Melbourne Victory in Round 10, but now the Reds arguably face an even bigger test when they take on Ernie Merrick’s second-placed outfit.
The two sides met back in Round 6 where Newcastle prevailed 2-1 – a game in which Mileusnic incidentally opened the scoring.
Last matchday, the Jets again rallied from a goal down to record a 2-1 stoppage-time, comeback win away to Perth Glory, having trailed for the first 87 minutes of the game.
“Newcastle are a great team and they’ve shown that in their previous games,” Mileusnic said of the high-flying Jets.
“They came back from 1-0 down and they won 2-1 which is still good for them and they’re coming in with some good form.
“It will be a good game, they like to get forward as well a lot and they do that very well.
“So we’ll be looking at them and will analyse their game and see how we can expose their weaknesses.”
Daniel Adlung and Ben Garuccio will both be out of Saturday’s clash following their dismissals against Melbourne.
Mileusnic insisted the Reds have ample cover to plug the voids, praising the squad’s strength in depth.
“I think there’ll be a bit of a reshuffle, but I think we have the players for it,” he said.
“And we have really good depth in our squad this year and the players that fill the roles will step up and do a great job.
“We have one hundred per cent belief in the players that play on the weekend.”
News earlier this morning revealed Newcastle talisman, Roy O’Donovan, has been ruled out for up to three months with a groin tear.
However, the 24-year-old said his absence will not change the mindset of how his side approach the match.
“Whoever they put out on the field I’m sure it will be a quality player,” he said.
“But we haven’t really focused on players being out and who’s playing and who’s not, but we’ll tackle the game as we tackle any other game as if anyone was playing.”
Mileusnic played a key part in the Reds’ win over the Victory after skilfully dribbling past Stefan Nigro to square the ball for George Blackwood’s goal.
His all-round game has been taken to another level this season, and has scored one goal, while laying on three assists for his teammates in the Hyundai A-League.
He also found the back-of-the-net a further four times in the recent edition of the Westfield FFA Cup.
Mileusnic, currently United’s top scorer across all competitions, was just glad to see his fellow attackers find the net and believed the Reds are gelling with each passing game.
“I’ve scored mostly in the FFA Cup and haven’t really put many away in the A-League,” he said.
“But (Ryan) Kitto’s doing awesome he’s scored four goals now and doing really well and now Baba (Diawara) and George (Blackwood) as well are opening their accounts.
“It’s sort of come together for us now in the middle of the season and that’s what we need really, we need good goal scorers and need to score goals to win games.”
Adelaide United will face Newcastle Jets in Round 11 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Saturday, 16 December at McDonald Jones Stadium. Kick-off is at 5.05pm ACDT.