The Reds have a promising record against visiting Bunyodkor, but have a clutch of injuries to contend with for Wednesday's first-leg encounter
By PADDY HIGGS
Bowles, Boogaard, Fyfe, Cassio
Kostopoulos, Watson, Barbiero,
Vidosic, Djite, Ramsey
Karimov, Gafurov, Dordevic, Jurayev
Ibrokhimov, Karpenko, Turayev, Kozak, Salomov
Having gone unbeaten against Bunyodkor in both group-match meetings earlier in the AFC Champions League, Adelaide United will seek a three-peat when they host the Uzbek champions on Wednesday.
The Reds secured 2-1 away win against the Swallows in March to open their group stage on a superb note, then followed it up with a 0-0 result when Bunyodkor visited Hindmarsh Stadium in May.
Adelaide will hope to continue their promising head-to-head record against their visitors - now standing at two wins and one draw from four matches - when Hindmarsh again hosts the pair in the first leg of their quarter-final meeting.
Adelaide - like they did under Aurelio Vidmar in their run to the final of the 2008 ACL - have developed an effective approach under John Kosmina that seems to fit the competition perfectly.
Effective rather than effervescent, the Reds have built a sound defensive platform and have capitalised from set plays, with five of their 11 goals in the competition coming from men at the back.
But the Reds do have their injury concerns with which to contend, though key creator Dario Vidosic is expected to recover from a hamstring strain to make the starting XI.
Zenon Caravella and Jon McKain will definitely miss, while Jeronimo Neumann - the latter selected ahead of fellow Argentine Marcelo Carrusca in the Reds' ACL squad - is likely to be only fit enough for a spot among the substitutes.
One edge the visitors may have is in match sharpness, given they are now 19 matches into their domestic season, while Adelaide have had to prepare via pre-season fixtures ahead of the 2012-13 A-League season's kick-off in October.
Leading the Uzbek Professional Football League by a point, the Swallows have goalscoring threats in Kamoliddin Murzoev and veteran strike partner Anvarjon Soliev, while experienced duo Victor Karpenko and Jan Kozak complement each other well in midfield.
Australia international David Carney will not be involved for Bunyodkor, however, with his short stint reportedly having come to an end after have his contract torn up.
|DID YOU KNOW?|
- Adelaide United have won six of their eight matches in the 2012 ACL and have lost just once, in a 1-0 away defeat to Pohang Steelers in April.
- Bunyodkor coach Mirjalol Qosimov has, since June, split his time between club duties and coaching Uzbekistan's national team.
- Bunyodkor have not conceded a goal in the ACL in three matches.
- Should he take to the pitch, as expected, Adelaide United midfielder Fabian Barbiero will make his 100th club appearance.
- Adelaide United have lost just seven of their 36 ACL matches, winning 19.
- Since being founded in time for the 2006 season [and including a season in the second tier], Bunyodkor have been Uzbekistan champions on four occasions