Barbiero still a chance

Adelaide United FC midfielder Fabian Barbiero has shaken off groin soreness and could be given the all clear to face Wellington Phoenix on Friday night for Round 20 of the Hyundai A-League.

Adelaide United FC midfielder Fabian Barbiero has shaken off groin soreness and could be given the all clear to face Wellington Phoenix on Friday night for Round 20 of the Hyundai A-League.

Barbiero was in some doubt after pulling up sore from last week's game, but he moved freely at the squad's early morning session on Wednesday to suggest he could be a starter against the Phoenix.

"I trained today and it felt alright so I should be good to go," Barbiero said.

"Yesterday it was more fifty-fifty but it felt good today and as long as I get through tomorrow, I should be ok to be up for selection."

Trying to get his body right and up to peak fitness has been a regular battle for Barbiero this season, the Reds' Best Team Man from 2008/09 managing just five starts from nine appearances in the first 18 rounds.

The 25-year-old admits it has been frustrating not being able to go full throttle and build up momentum, especially considering he finished off last season having played the last 15 rounds and was renowned for his tireless work rate.

Barbiero missed the last time United and the Phoenix met, back in Round 5 in Wellington due to a calf injury, and he will be determined to prove his fitness and retain his place in the starting eleven.

"I'm looking forward to playing against Wellington," Barbiero said.

"It's a massive game for us, hopefully we can get all of our fans down there, get as much support as we can and hopefully give our fans an early Christmas present by putting in a good performance and taking the three points."

While Barbiero progress looks promising, fellow midfielder Paul Reid is less of a chance to be ready for Friday night's crucial home game, as he tries to overcome a groin injury. Reid was restricted to light duties at training, suggesting he is running out of time to prove his fitness.

The Reds, who are undefeated against the Phoenix in their seven encounters, will be aiming to string consecutive wins together for the first time this season and in the process jump past Wellington on the Hyundai A-League table.