New boy Zvonko Usljebrka will be thrown in at the deep end when he makes his debut for South China in tonight's showdown with Japanese aristocrats Shimizu S-Pulse. The Australian will be used as a lone striker as Au Wai-lun sits out the eagerly awaited AFC Champions League clash because of suspension. 'We can really win this,' insisted a confident Usljebrka ahead of the third round, first leg tie at Hong Kong Stadium. 'I have played against Japanese teams before and they tend to back off a bit when you put them under pressure. If you give them time to play, they will play, but if you put pressure on them, they can get scared. 'We have home advantage and hopefully we can get at least a draw. It will be hard to play them away. We'll just have to go out and play our best and try to unsettle them.' Shimizu flew into the SAR on Sunday without two of their most well-known players - South Korean World Cup hero Ahn Jung-hwan and Brazil-born Japanese international Alex - but the J-League team have strength in depth and will prove a handful for the Caroliners. Usljebrka, 29, born in Australia to Croatian parents, has been looking forward to tonight's clash since signing for South China two weeks ago and will get a chance to shine in front of the biggest crowd of the season. A few thousand tickets have already been sold but thousands more fans are expected to pay at the gate. Usljebrka, who appeared in the Croatian and Bosnian First Divisions before returning home to play for Sydney United and Canberra Deakin, is confident of getting a result tonight. 'It doesn't really matter whether Shimizu play with their best players or not,' he said. 'We have a chance to win the match and I think we can beat them with the team we have got. If we really put our hearts into it, we can win.' Injury-hit South China will be looking for a repeat of last year's storming display against Shimizu when they beat the Japanese visitors 3-2 in an Asian Cup Winners' Cup first leg clash - a result that saw the Caroliners named the AFC's Team of the Month. South China went on to lose the second leg 6-0 after central defender Cristiano Cordeiro was sent off after just 15 minutes. That game marked the final time a Hong Kong team took part in the Asian Cup Winners' Cup - the AFC scrapped both that and the Asian Club Championship and replaced them with the all-new Champions League. As well as the suspended Au, South China will be missing right-back and skipper Yau Kin-wai (thigh injury) and midfielder Luk Koon-pong (broken ankle) while there is a huge doubt surrounding Cordeiro, who is nursing a knee injury. The former Hong Kong Footballer of the Year injured his right knee during South China's 2-2 draw with Sun Hei on Friday night. The 28-year-old Brazilian has been having intensive treatment but remains a slim chance. He did some jogging yesterday and revealed: 'My knee is much better than it was yesterday, but it is still painful to even walk.' But he insisted: 'I have confidence in my team and I think we will play well. Hopefully, we will give 200 per cent and win. We are still a strong team even if we are without a few key players.'