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Parker: How did FC Dallas get here?

FC Dallas
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Villa Park waves farewell to Prem

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Adelaide are underdogs: coach Valkanis

Adelaide United coach Michael Valkanis has embraced underdog status as he prepares to make four changes for Sunday's knockout final against Brisbane Roar.

Valkanis welcomed pundits tipping an early exit for the Reds, who limped into the playoffs with the worst form-line of any A-League finalist.

"We are the underdogs, everyone is writing us off," Valkanis told reporters on Monday.

"I think we're best when our backs are against the wall. We have always been like that. I like it like that and so do the players."

Valkanis was expected to bring in four players for the Hindmarsh Stadium final against the reigning champion Roar.

Playmaker Marcelo Carrusca, striker Tomi Juric and Cassio were rested from last weekend's 1-1 draw against Perth Glory while defender Nigel Boogard missed with suspension.

"The last nine weeks has all been about preparation for this game," Valkanis said.

"We have been forced over these last nine games to make changes due to suspension and injuries.

"But we will pick the best team for this game. That team was in mind as the last game finished.

"The players will be ready for it, they will be up for it."

Valkanis believed the change in finals format to sudden death would benefit the Reds, who can take the title with three consecutive wins.

"It's an interesting finals concept and it gives us a great opportunity to go all the way," he said.

"And in a way, I'm really happy this year, like in the early years at Adelaide United, that we go into the finals as underdogs - it's a great feeling."

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