Roar clash a perfect yardstick for Reds

Adelaide United FC will use its next two Hyundai A-League matches as the groundwork for its next ACL match against Gamba Osaka.

Adelaide United FC will use its next two Hyundai A-League matches, starting with Brisbane Roar tomorrow (Sunday 11 March 2012) at Suncorp Stadium, as the groundwork for its next AFC Champions League match against Gamba Osaka.

The Reds could not ask for a better lead in to their showdown against the J-League giants than with matches against the Hyundai A-League-s top two sides, the Central Coast Mariners and the Roar, who are incidentally the other Australian clubs competing in the 2012 AFC Champions League.

With the Hyundai A-League finals off the radar, the emphasis and main objective for United Coach John Kosmina is for the Reds to use their remaining domestic games as dress rehearsals for their ACL matches

“We-ll practise what we-re going to do in the ACL…if you want to develop something you-ve got to practise it, so that-s what we-ll be looking at for these next matches, but also bearing in mind that we want to get three points as well,” Kosmina said.

“The Japanese teams like Gamba will probably play similar to Brisbane do, so we would then look at using Brisbane as a yardstick as to how we want to play against Gamba, so for us it-s perfect.”

“We-ll do what we want to do in ten days time and like I said, Brisbane will be a real good test for us.”

While it ultimately might be a case of planning for Gamba, this is not to say results in the Reds- final three games, starting with the Roar, are irrelevant. Success breeds confidence and with confidence comes momentum, something Kosmina and the players would dearly like to have going into Match Day 2 on March 20.

The Reds will have to achieve it without inspirational captain Eugene Galekovic, who is being rested after copping a knock in the ankle at training yesterday.

It will be the first game the dual Goalkeeper of the Year and Club Champion has missed this season, Cassio to wear the captain-s armband in Galekovic-s absence.

“It-s not necessary that he (Galekovic) plays - it-s not that there-s nothing at stake, there is always something at stake, but it-s more about that we want to keep Eugene fit for further down the track, so Mark Birighitti will get a start and we-ll go from there,” Kosmina said.

Another player who will not make the trip to Brisbane is Sergio van Dijk, the striker staying in Adelaide due back tightness he felt in the days leading up to the win over Bunyodkor. Van Dijk-s absence opens the door for Youth League forward Evan Kostopoulos to come into the travelling party and have a chance of making his Hyundai A-League debut.

The 21 year old has been training regularly with United-s senior squad and is also on the Reds- ACL roster, a baptism of fire against the Roar at Suncorp sure to make it a debut to remember if he is given some minutes during the clash.

“He is lively, he-s been around the club awhile, he knows the players, the players know him, and he can perform a variety of roles for us,” Kosmina said on Kostopoulos.

“He can play as a number nine, he-s quick, he-s mobile and he can also play out wide on the right or the left because he-s got some pace and he-s got some touch, so in terms of that front three, he can play in any of those positions.”

After playing 10 minutes against Bunyodkor last Tuesday, Jon McKain is also in the travelling squad and ready to make his first appearance in the Hyundai A-League since December 31, the Brisbane born defender having recovered from a knee injury.

“It-s good…it-s taken awhile but it-s better now,” McKain said of his knee.

“It-s just a matter of match fitness which I-m confident of building up. This week we-ll see how many minutes I play but with every game I-ll just keep building up and in a few weeks I should be fine.”

McKain also reiterated that the players would not just go through the motions in their final three A-League encounters.

“We-ve got a couple of games to fine tune ourselves for the AFC Champions League, which is obviously our focus now, but we-re not taking these last games lightly, we want to perform well and hopefully produce a few upsets because we still believe we can play good football, so we-ve got a bit to play for still.”

The game against the Roar comes only three days after the Reds arrived back from Tashkent, raising the issue of fatigue possibly setting in. Kosmina knows a lot will depend on his team-s mental approach, but he is confident the players have enough adrenalin going through them from their win over Bunyodkor win to carry them through the game against the Roar.

Kick-Off is at 4.30pm ACDT.

Hyundai A-League 2011/12 Season - Week 23 Brisbane Roar v Adelaide United FC Sunday 11 March 2012, Suncorp Stadium Kick-Off: 4.00pm AEST (4.30pm ACDT) Referee: Strebre Delovski

TV: Live and exclusive on FOX Sports 1 Twitter: twitter.com/adelutd_fc (hash tag #HALbriau)

Adelaide United squad: 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 4.Jon McKain, 5.Daniel Mullen, 6.Cassio, 7.Zenon Caravella, 8.Evgeniy Levchenko, 10.Dario Vidosic, 11.Bruce Djite, 12.Antony Golec, 14.Cameron Watson, 17.Iain Ramsay, 20.Mark Birighitti (gk), 21.Francisco Usucar, 25.Evan Kostopoulos, 30.Paul Izzo (gk) *one to be omitted

In: Jon McKain (returns form injury), Francisco Usucar (returns from injury), Evan Kostopoulos (promoted from NYL), Paul Izzo (gk) (returns from injury) Out: Eugene Galekovic (gk) (ankle - 1 week), Fabian Barbiero (suspended), Sergio van Dijk (back - 1 week) Unavailable: Spase Dilevski (groin)

Brisbane Roar squad: 1.Michael Theoklitos (GK), 2.Matt Smith (C), 3.Shane Stefanutto, 4.Matt Jurman, 5.Ivan Franjic, 6.Erik Paaratlu, 7.Besart Berisha, 11.Issey Nakajima-Farran, 14.Rocky Visconte, 16.Mohamed Adnan, 18.Luke Brattan, 19.Jack Hingert, 20.Andrew Redmayne (GK), 21.James Meyer, 22.Thomas Broich, 24.Nick Fitzgerald *one to be omitted

In: Rocky Visconte (promoted), Luke Brattan (promoted), Jack Hingert (promoted) Out: Mitch Nichols (groin - 1 week), Massimo Murdocca (shoulder - 1 week) Unavailable: Henrique (suspended - one match)

Adelaide United FC vs. Brisbane Roar - Hyundai A-League HEAD TO HEAD Record: Played 21 - 8 wins, 7 draws, 6 losses

7-Jan-2012… D 1-1… 2011/12 Wk 14 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 28-Oct-2011… L 1-7… 2011/12 Wk 4 (Suncorp Stadium) 2-Jan-2011… L 0-1… 2010/11 Wk 21 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 6-Nov-2010… L 0-4… 2010/11 Wk 13 (Suncorp Stadium) 18-Sep-2010… D 1-1… 2010/11 Wk 7 (Suncorp Stadium) 6-Feb-2010… W 2-0… 2009/10 Rd 26 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 12-Dec-2009… W 1-0… 2009/10 Rd 18 (Suncorp Stadium) 6-Nov-2009… L 0-2… 2009/10 Rd 14 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 21-Jan-2009… W 1-0… 2008/09 Preliminary Final (Hindmarsh Stadium) 14-Jan-2009… D 0-0… 2008/09 Rd 16 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 17-Oct-2008… W 1-0… 2008/09 Rd 8 (Suncorp Stadium) 24-Aug-2008… D 1-1… 2008/09 Rd 2 (Suncorp Stadium) 20-Jan-2008… W 2-0… 2007/08 Rd 21 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 2-Nov-2007… L 0-1… 2007/08 Rd 11 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 25-Aug-2007… D 2-2… 2007/08 Rd 1 (Suncorp Stadium) 4-Jan-2007… L 0-1… 2006/07 Rd 19 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 11-Nov-2006… W 1-0… 2006/07 Rd 12 (Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane) 22-Sep-2006… D 0-0… 2006/07 Rd 5 (Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane) 1-Jan-2006… W 4-2… 2005/06 Rd 16 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 22-Oct-2005… W 2-1… 2005/06 Rd 9 (Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane) 2-Sep-2005… D 0-0… 2005/06 Rd 2 (Hindmarsh Stadium)

At Suncorp Stadium Played 10; Adelaide United 4, Brisbane Roar 2, Draws 4

Last time they met in the Hyundai A-League 7-Jan-2012 Week 14, Hyundai A-League 2011/12 Season at Hindmarsh Stadium Adelaide United FC 1 (van Dijk 78- (pen)) Brisbane Roar 1 (Nakajima-Farran 59-)

Adelaide United last three results Wk 22. 1-3-12… L 0-2… vs. Perth Glory (Hindmarsh Stadium) Wk 21. 24-2-12… L 0-1… vs. Newcastle Jets (Hunter Stadium) Wk 20. 19-2-12… L 1-2… vs. Sydney FC (Hindmarsh Stadium)