Allsopp expects hectic start

Melbourne striker Danny Allsopp is expecting Saturday's Hyundai A-League Grand Final against Adelaide to start with a bang, predicting early-match fireworks similar to the 2006/07 decider.

Melbourne striker Danny Allsopp is expecting Saturday's Hyundai A-League Grand Final against Adelaide to start with a bang, predicting early-match fireworks similar to the 2006/07 decider.

Two years ago, the Grand Final between the Victory and the Reds started in sensational fashion with several bone-crunching tackles in the first 20 minutes, including Kevin Muscat's challenge on Diego. By half time, Archie Thompson had already scored three goals and Adelaide was down to ten men after Ross Aloisi was booked twice.

Allsopp, who played all 90 minutes of that game, does not expect anything different this time around and said that under the pressure of Grand Finals anything can happen.

"I expect there to be fireworks in the first five minutes. You have to prepare yourself for the worst-case scenario. I'm sure that's what it will be, both teams will be fired up and no-one will want to give an inch. We have to be ready for that battle and take it how it comes," he said.

However, the likelihood of a fiery start will not change Melbourne's approach to the match. Allsopp agreed with the sentiments of Thompson earlier in the week that Melbourne should be confident going into the match and should not change its methodology.

"We are confident. All we can concentrate on is doing our jobs and the same things we have had a lot of success with this year. The result will look after itself if we play well. We've got to do all the hard work and the things that got us there in the first place," he said.

Allsopp was impressed with the Reds' tough 1-0 win over Queensland in the Preliminary Final, especially the way the club had united after Aurelio Vidmar's post-match spray after the second leg of the Major Semi-Final.

"They got the result and they had to dig deep for it. I watched the game and I thought they took a lot of pressure from Queensland and showed good resolve after a difficult week," he said

"I think they all stood up. They showed good team spirit. They had to defend a lot, and in saying that they had chances as well. They are a dangerous side and they've won a lot of games 1-0, so if we're not at our best, we will get punished, and hopefully with the home crowd here, they can get us over the line."

And he said that there is no chance of Melbourne taking a win for granted despite the Victory's imposing record over the Reds, which reads five wins from as many games this season.

"We know that Adelaide's a good side, they've been in the top two all year, like ourselves. You don't get to the final of the Champions League without being a good side, You underestimate them at your peril."