Two of the A-League’s greatest ever Spanish imports will decide Friday night’s do-or-die semi-final in Perth, says ex-Adelaide United defender Taylor Regan.
Premiers Perth Glory are in the box seat for a first home Grand Final in the A-League.
In their way: the resurgent Reds under departing coach Marco Kurz in the weekend's first A-League semi-final.
Not even lightning striking a Reds’ pre-game training session could dampen their mood.
United are happy to play underdogs, says their captain Isaias. And rightly so after an energy-sapping 120-minute elimination final last Sunday.
FTBL caught up with two ex-Adelaide United players to gauge their thoughts.
Regan, who left Adelaide last February for a move to Malaysian powerhouse Selangor, says the two Spanish greats on each side will rise to the occasion in front of a huge crowd.
“It’ll be the battle of the Spanish, mate,” says Regan, who played at Hindmarsh from 2016 to Feb this year.
“The most consistent two players in the league are Castro and Isaías. One of them will be the man of the match.
"Whoever it is, their team will win.”
But a livewire Australian flavour to the Reds will also play a key part, added Regan.
“No doubt, Adelaide has speed with Nik Mileusenic, Ben Halloran and Craig Goodwin," he said. “They can cause an experienced Perth backline trouble.
“But Poppa [Glory coach Tony Popovic] knows that if Perth plays with a high defensive line, he can be exposed in behind.
“Knowing Poppa, he will have Perth ready for that speed.”
Castro, 36, has a massive amount of La Liga experience under his belt.
He is a former Getafe stalwart, who’s played at the Nou Camp and Bernabeu during a La Liga career spanning over 220 games.
The Glory attacker is also a Johnny Warren Medal winner.
Isaias, 32, who became an Australian citizen earlier this year, played lower tier Spanish football but is equally influential for his Reds.
The defensive midfielder has been a regular since signing six years ago.
And who could forget his Grand Final set piece stunner in 2016, helping the Reds defeat Glory coach’s Popovic's former club Wanderers.
Adelaide go into this game only five days after a 120-minute Elimination Final 1-0 win over Melbourne City.
However, Perth enjoyed a week off and should be more rested.
But anything can happen, as we’ve seen this week in the UEFA Champions League.
Can the emotion of losing popular coach Marco Kurz be significant in lifting the Reds in such a critical moment?
Cameron Watson played five years at the Reds from 2011.
The midfielder says stick to what’s worked under Kurz for the best chance of success.
“Leave no stone unturned," he said. "It’s a knockout game and it’s all up for grabs.
“Keep doing things the coach has been saying all year. It’s a hard place to go Perth and chances will be limited.
“Most importantly of all they have to take their chances."
The two sides drew 0-0 in the league last time they met in Perth in Round 15.