Adelaide’s ACL opponents guide

It’s that time of year again as Hyundai A-League fans prepare for midweek football in the AFC Champions League.

It all kicks off tomorrow night (Tues) when Wanderers host Japanese powerhouse Urawa Reds at 7pm (local), followed by Roar at home to Thai opposition. 

Then the Reds reprise their 2008 ACL final when Gamba Osaka fly in to Adelaide for Wednesday night’s opening group clash at Hindmarsh. 

The 2017 version promises an exciting ride and there is no better time to have a look at the teams – and some of the big names and Aussie players – that will be facing Gui Amor’s men over the coming months.

Group H: Adelaide United

Gamba Osaka 

A rematch of the 2008 final will be eagerly awaited in both Japan and Australia. Gamba has struggled to reach the same continental heights since though have reached the knockout stage on four occasions.

The venerable Yasuhito Endo is still there but there are younger talents now, no less than Yosuke Ideguchi, the J-League 2016 Rookie of the Year and a talented midfield player who has already been called up by the national team.

Gamba beat Johor Darul Ta’zim 3-0 in the ACL group qualifier.

Yasuhito Endo

Jiangsu Suning

Now led by former FC Seoul boss Choi Yong-soo, the 2016 Chinese Super League runner-up will make for formidable opposition.

With Alex Teixeira and Ramires in the ranks, Trent Sainsbury’s former team has plenty of firepower.

Narrowly missing out on the knockout stage last year, Jiangsu want a much better showing this time around which is one of the reasons they hired Choi, a man with plenty of games – both group and knockout – under his belt.

Jiangsu Suning

Jeju United 

The Korea Republic team is making just a second appearance in the tournament and did not do much to write home about to the sub-tropical island back in 2011. 

Finished third last season but was never in the title race, Jeju is a tidy outfit with a number of solid K-League players but not really any standout stars.

Have just recruited big Aussie centre-back Aleksandar Jovanovic.

Australian defender Aleksandar Jovanovic signs with K-League outfit Jeju United.