Vince Lia admits Adelaide United will have to improve their defensive form when they take on Melbourne Victory at Marvel Stadium.
The Reds have the second-best record in the A-League in terms of goals conceded, with only last season's Premier's Plate winners Sydney having let in fewer.
But the way Victory are playing, with four consecutive wins taking them up to second spot, Lia says they won't be able to afford any mistakes in Melbourne.
The Reds are up to fourth in the table, on the back of three wins from their last four matches.
They've won both of their away matches so far this season, against Central Coast and Wellington, but those two teams are in the bottom two and taking on the defending champions will be a tougher prospect.
Lia said of Kevin Muscat's side: "For them to be in this form early shows they're a very good team, and they're going to be title contenders, the favourites probably.
"They've got so many players that can hurt you, so I think if you focus on (Keisuke) Honda alone you'll get hurt by (James) Troisi or (Terry) Antonis, who's having a good year, Kosta's (Barbarouses) up front."
The holding midfielder, who has started all but one of the Reds' games this season, added: "We've to be better defensively, more compact, and more solid. I think if we give them as many chances as we've given some other teams in the last few weeks we'll get punished."
Coach Marco Kurz has included centre-back Michael Jakobsen in his extended squad following a minor injury complaint.
Adelaide United are 9/1 to win the Grand Final.
The Reds are 14/5 to win their next game against Melbourne Victory, who are 10/11 with the draw 14/5.
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