Jordan Elsey says he is relishing the challenge of facing in-form striker Oriol Riera when Adelaide United face Western Sydney Wanderers in the Semi-finals of the Westfield FFA Cup.
Riera has scored a goal in each of his three Hyundai A-League matches and has also netted four times in the Cup.
After marking Besart Berisha for much of Friday night’s clash against Melbourne Victory, Elsey admitted he is anticipating a similar battle against the Spanish talisman on Tuesday night.
“I’m expecting the same, I’m sure he’s a winner and a fighter that’s the way he’s played in his career,” he said.
“I’m looking forward to the battle and I like playing against big players in this league.
“It helps me, I’m a young boy and helps me develop and I look forward to playing against these imports.
“So it should be a good battle… But we are not just focusing on one player there’s obviously another ten players on the pitch.”
The Reds and the Wanderers have collected five points from their opening three league matches.
The 23-year-old expected both sides to come into the clash extremely determined, especially after surrendering leads at the weekend.
Adelaide conceded a late equaliser in their 2-2 draw with the Victory, while Sydney FC came from two goals down to share the spoils with WSW.
“Obviously Western Sydney and Sydney are good teams so I think it was a fair result in the end,” he said.
“And both teams are hungry coming off a draw which felt like a loss so it’ll be a good spectacle.
“We want to reach the final. That was the main goal from the start.”
Elsey was pleased with the team’s fightback against Melbourne, but insisted they cannot afford to keep conceding early goals.
The Reds have been breached within the first 15 minutes to begin proceedings for the third consecutive week.
“It was good fighting spirit we were happy to come back from one-nil down,” he said.
“Obviously we don’t want to keep starting like this, we want to get off on the front foot and we’ll be looking to do that Tuesday,” he said.
The young defender also believes the Reds can take confidence from their impressive Cup run heading into the “must-win game”.
“It’s one more game and we are in a final,” he said.
“I feel like this FFA Cup we have played really well throughout it and Western Sydney will be scared playing us because of our form going into this FFA Cup and we are undefeated in the season.
“It’s a must-win game and you don’t get to play in many finals throughout your career so it’s a must-win game.”
The winner of the Semi-final will meet Sydney in the title decider in November.
Adelaide United will face Western Sydney Wanderers in the Semi-finals of the 2017 Westfield FFA Cup on Tuesday, 24 October at Campbelltown Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACDT.