Jiangsu Suning - Adelaide United Preview
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The Reds have conceded at a rate of almost two goals per game in the 2016-17 A-League and copped three in their ACL opener

Adelaide United will need to tighten their defence if they are to get anything from their AFC Champions League (ACL) clash against Jiangsu Suning in China.

Apart from a 1-0 triumph over Newcastle Jets in the A-League on February 17, the Reds have conceded at least two goals per game in their last seven matches in all competitions.

Despite an impressive performance from 19-year-old goalkeeper Daniel Margush on the weekend, Adelaide still lost 2-1 away to Melbourne Victory, while they were defeated 3-0 at home by Gamba Osaka in their ACL opener last week.

The Reds showed some promising signs going forward against Gamba and Victory but were too easily opened up in their defensive third.

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Guillermo Amor's side have the worst defensive record in the A-League in 2016-17 with 39 goals conceded in 21 matches.

Jiangsu, who began Group H with a 1-0 win away to Jeju United, will hope to exploit Adelaide's frailty when they host the South Australian club on Wednesday at Nanjing Olympic Sports Center.

"It's going to be tough but all the boys are ready," Adelaide defender Michael Marrone said from China on Monday.

"We've had a good stay so far, so hopefully we can get a result."

Jiangsu's star attacking midfielder Alex Teixeira is likely to be available for the home side despite being replaced at half-time against Jeju last week with a muscle strain.

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The former Shakhtar Donetsk playmaker recovered in time for the Chinese Super Cup on Saturday as Jiangsu lost 1-0 to Guangzhou Evergrande.

Coach Choi Yong-soo will be expected to use a 3-5-2 formation with Teixeira up front alongside Colombian striker Roger Martinez, while ex-Chelsea midfielder Ramires - who scored a late winner versus Jeju - will be part of a central midfield trio.

Wing-back Ji Xiang provides plenty of attacking thrust down the right, while captain Wu Xi is a vital cog in midfield.

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The mercury is set to reach 36 degrees Celsius in Adelaide on Wednesday but the Reds won't have to worry about the heat in Nanjing, with a scheduled maximum of 17 that is expected to drop to 10 by kick-off.

"We've had enough time to acclimatise and I think it's better going to cold than going to hot, so we'll be fine," Marrone said.

 

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