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May 17, 2012

Adelaide aim to strike in ACL knockout

Coach John Kosmina is toying with returning to a two-pronged strike force as Adelaide United enter the knockout stages of soccer's lucrative Asian Champions League (ACL).

Adelaide will carry Australian hopes in the ACL round of 16 after Brisbane Roar and Central Coast Mariners failed to progress past the group stage.

Adelaide topped their group to secure home-ground advantage for a May 29 knockout clash with Japanese outfit Nagoya Grampus.

Kosmina said whether Socceroo striker Josh Kennedy fronted for Nagoya would be a factor in determining Adelaide's tactics for the match.

Kennedy is due to take part in the Socceroos' World Cup qualifying camp during the week of the ACL clash.

"If Josh plays, it might change the way we go about our business," Kosmina told reporters in Adelaide on Friday.

Kosmina has adopted a defensive 4-1-4-1 formation, but substitute striker Sergio van Dijk's sealer in Adelaide's 2-0 away win against Japan's Gamba Osaka on Wednesday night gave the coach food for thought.

The Reds played much of the last half against Gamba with van Dijk partnering spearhead Bruce Djite in attack.

"I have even tossed up whether we go back to two strikers again because that aspect of it worked quite well," Kosmina said.

"If Serg came in, it wouldn't be at the expense of Bruce. We would play with two strikers."

Kosmina said advancing to the round of 16 was a huge achievement, particularly given the Reds stumbled to ninth place in the A-League.

"The players understand just how big this competition is and what is at stake," he said.

"If we can manage to get past Nagoya, even that is a phenomenal achievement.

"We have done enough now, away from home in particular, to give everyone the confidence to think that if we get into that final eight, we might be able to go a bit further."

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