The Red Diamonds were the stand-out team of Group E in the opening round of the tournament, producing an entertaining 3-0 win over Persik Kediri, while Sydney FC surprised many with a solid 2-1 away win over Shanghai Shenhua in China.
Milligan admits Sydney won’t be taken as lightly in this week’s match and that the Japanese double winner will be a much tougher proposition but also felt the Aussie Stadium home crowd could be a deciding factor.
“They’re a very difficult side and we have to make the most of the home ground advantage and make the most of the home crowd,” Milligan told Sportal after Sydney FC’s training session on Monday afternoon.
“I know they have something like 14 internationals in their squad and have a few Brazilians in their line-up including the Washington boy upfront, who was their leading goal-scorer last year, so they are going to be tough all over the park.”
“They are quality and it is going to take our whole team to get on top of them on Wednesday night — we need to shut them down and get them with their heads down and playing where they don’t want to play.”
Milligan admitted Sydney’s first-up win over Shanghai in the opening round of the tournament was a massive boost for his team-mates and came at the right time for the club after being dumped from the A-League in the semi-finals.
“It was good because it put us in a good position in the group but it was more important for us as it gave us some confidence,” said Milligan.
“We came off a disappointing loss from the A-League, so the boys were low on confidence and then we obviously had the drama with the coach being sacked and the new coach coming in — so to achieve that first win was really important in getting everyone settled down and focused again.”
Milligan revealed the team was still working through some different formations but would be boosted by the return of midfielders Terry McFlynn and Ruben Zadkovich, both of whom will start the match from the bench.
“We have been given a few options as to the formation so we can change depending on how the game goes, which I think is important, but we haven’t settled on any firm starting formation yet.”