Sydney FC and Australian Under 17’s World Cup goalkeeper Adam Pavlesic is to make his Sky Blues debut against Korean Champions Jeonbuk Hyundai Motors FC tonight (9pm AEDT), as Steve Corica’s side look to secure a much needed three points in Group H of the AFC Champions League.
The 18-year old has impressed in training and will replace Tom Heward-Belle, who received a one game suspension following his dismissal against Shanghai SIPG.
Pavlesic represented the Joey’s at the FIFA Under 17’s World Cup in Brazil last year and Head Coach Corica has every faith in the youngster to perform.
“He’s a young boy, pretty inexperienced but he’s got plenty of confidence, so I’m sure he’s going to have a great game with plenty of communication from the back,” he said.
“That’s pretty much the only change we’ll make; we’ve had five days in between each game so it gives plenty of time for the boys to recover and get ready for this game.”
Sydney FC were denied by a late equaliser in the first game against the Korean club back in March this year however tonight’s opposition have a different look to the squad with a number of new faces.
“They’ve got a new striker up front Gustavo, a Brazilian boy, he’s a big target man who scores goals and they’ve got another boy on the left hand side Barrow, who’s a very talented, quick, left footed player who likes to dribble.
“Obviously these new players help them, they’ve got a couple of players out, but we want to take it to them and get the three points.”
The brand new Al Janoub Stadium will host the game, with the stadium built recently to host FIFA World Cup matches, including a semi final in 2022.
Corica believes the players will take a great deal from playing at the ground.
“We got a chance to look at the pitch today, it’s an amazing stadium. It’s the first game that anyone is going to be playing on it in this tournament.
“It’s exciting, it’s a new stadium built for the World Cup, the pitch is sensational, the facilities are very good as well so we just need the three points to top everything off.”
Watch tonight’s match – Jeonbuk Motors vs Sydney FC in the AFC Champions League Live on Fox Sports Channel 507 and Kayo Sports from 9pm AEDT.