Adelaide United coach John Kosmina rates key playmaker Dario Vidosic only a 50/50 chance of playing in Wednesday night’s AFC Champions League Quarter Final against Bunyodkor at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Kosmina will give Vidosic every chance to be fit for the 1st Leg game and will give the influential midfielder until the last minute to prove he has overcome a hamstring tear.
However the news is better for Argentine Jeronimo Neumann who completed a full session at training on Monday morning (Adelaide time) to put his hand up for selection.
“He (Vidosic) only had a small tear and it was not across the muscle so that’s a good thing…the doctors say it’s not too bad,” Kosmina said.
The Reds will be looking to repeat history, having played the Uzbek side in the knockout stages of the ACL in 2008. On that occasion in front of a packed house the Reds recorded a stirring victory, setting up an unassailable lead as it eventually won the tie and went onto play in the final.
In fact, Wednesday night’s game will be the sixth meeting between two teams that have built up an intriguing ACL rivalry, the Reds holding a record of two wins, a draw and a loss against the more highly fancied Uzbek club. This included meeting in the group stages of this year’s competition.
“There is a bit of history between the two clubs, not just in the last few months either, it goes back a few years,” Kosmina said.
“So hopefully that’ll work in our favour, especially having the game at home, I think that helps a hell of a lot.”
Although the Reds has had to play a host of pre-season trial matches to prepare as the Hyundai A-League has yet to kick off, Kosmina can be pleased with his team’s progress to a game that has been in its sights on the horizon for a number of months.
The Reds’ coaching staff has also been doing its homework on Bunyodkor, but Kosmina has been around football long enough to know that ultimately it is about the Reds controlling what they can control.
“We know what they (Bunyodkor) play like. They’re not going to be too dissimilar to the way they were against us or Seongnam in its Round of 16 game, so it’s about how we go about our business and make sure we get our house in order first,” Kosmina said.
“You can practise tactics all you want, the fact is that on the day if something doesn’t quite work or someone is not on their game or they might have a players who’s on fire, you’ve got to adapt sometimes and make decisions out on the park as you go – that’s what sport is all about.”
Another parochial home crowd on Wednesday night would again go a long way to giving United an edge once again.