Hyundai A-League preview: Adelaide v Brisbane

​With top spot beckoning, Adelaide United and Brisbane Roar will go head-to-head in what looms as a fascinating fixture at Coopers Stadium on Saturday.

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MATCH DETAILS

Saturday, 27 February 2016

Adelaide United v Brisbane Roar FC

Coopers Stadium, Adelaide

Kick-Off: 4:45 PM (Local) (5:15 PM (AEDT))

Referee: Shaun Evans

Assistant Referee 1: George Lakrindis

Assistant Referee 2: Stephen Toth

Fourth Official: Daniel Elder

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: 891 ABC Adelaide, 612 ABC Brisbane, ABC Local Radio SA, ABC Local Radio Qld, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live.

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #ADLvBRI

To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets 

Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 2.Michael MARRONE, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 6.Stefan MAUK, 7.PABLO SANCHEZ, 8.ISAIAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE, 14.George MELLS, 15.Ben WARLAND, 16.Craig GOODWIN, 17.Mate DUGANDZIC, 20.John HALL (gk), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 23.Jordan ELSEY, 24.Bruce KAMAU, 25.Ruon TONGYIK **two to be omitted**

Ins: 14.George MELLS (returns from injury), 25.Ruon TONGYIK (promoted)

George Mells

Outs: nil

Unavailable: 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA (suspension – 1 week), 19.Eli BABALJ (knee – season)

Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO, 3. Shane STEFANUTTO, 5.Corey BROWN, 7.CORONA,  8.Steven LUSTICA,  9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.HENRIQUE, 13.Jade NORTH, 14.Daniel BOWLES,  16.Devante CLUT, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 18.Javier HERVAS, 19.Jack HINGERT, 20.Shannon BRADY, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 28.Brandon BORRELLO **two to be omitted**

Ins: 5.Corey BROWN (promoted), 16.Devante CLUT (promoted), 20.Shannon BRADY (promoted)

Roar defender Corey Brown on the ball during his side's 4-0 win over the Mariners.

Outs:  15.James DONACHIE (injured, knee, 1 week)

Unavailable:  6.Jerome POLENZ (injured, quadricep muscle, 4 weeks), 11.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO (injured, quadricep muscle, 2 weeks)

#ADLvBRI

BLUFFER'S GUIDE

What a stunning turnaround from Adelaide United!

After failing to win one of their opening eight matches, the Reds have strung 12 games together without loss and could finish the weekend on top of the Hyundai A-League depending on results.

If Guillermo Amor's team can knock off Brisbane Roar on Saturday and Western Sydney Wanderers fail to beat Perth Glory on Friday, Adelaide will top the table with six matches remaining before finals.

Adelaide United players celebrate Bruce Kamau's late winner against Victory on Friday night.

After Adelaide wowed the A-League with free-flowing attacking football under Josep Gombau last season, the club's second consecutive Spanish coach has made the team slightly more pragmatic.

Adelaide are structured in defence and are finding goals from all areas of the pitch at the moment, exemplified by Bruce Kamau's late strike to defeat Melbourne Victory 1-0 last week.

Brisbane have a great record at Coopers Stadium - 10 wins in 17 matches - including six wins on their past eight trips to South Australia.

But after a 6-3 loss away to Perth Glory last start, Roar may be lacking confidence.

Brisbane Roar skipper Matt McKay in disbelief at nib Stadium.

Roar centre-back James Donachie will miss this match with a knee injury, with the talented Daniel Bowles likely to start in his place, while George Mells returns for the home side.

OPTA DATA

- Adelaide are hunting back-to-back wins against Brisbane for the first time since the 2009-10 season

- The Reds are unbeaten in seven games at home but their last loss came against Roar

- Adelaide have made 330 crosses this season, the most of any team and 63 more for the campaign than Brisbane

- Roar midfielder Thomas Broich has provided six assists in 2015-16, the second most of any player in the A-League but still 11 behind Melbourne City's Aaron Mooy

ROUTE TO GOAL

Adelaide are the only team in the A-League's top six without a player in the competition's top-15 goal-scorers.

Amor's team have been sharing the goals around, as their team total of 30 is equal to fifth-placed Melbourne Victory and better than Sydney FC (26), who are sixth.

The third-placed Reds have had six different players hit the back of the net in the past five games but history suggests they need a forward to take charge up front, if they're to win their maiden A-League championship.

Adelaide's Marcelo Carrusca harassed by Shandong's Jucilei.

Can Bruce Djite improve on his three goals this season? Or could Marcelo Carrusca lead the way from attacking midfield?

Carrusca (5 goals) is the most prolific player in Amor's squad this term.

By contrast, Brisbane have one of the top-three strikers in the competition this season, with Jamie Maclaren (12) having scored again last week.

Roar have scored at least two goals in their past four games and the last time they were held to fewer, Adelaide beat them 4-1 at Suncorp Stadium.

Jamie Maclaren and Henrique celebrate combining for Brisbane's third goal against Sydney.

Brisbane's issue is at the back, with just one clean sheet in six matches.

WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Craig Goodwin. The Adelaide winger was taken to hospital with concussion after last week's gave against Victory following a heavy clash with Daniel Georgievski, although Goodwin has retained his spot in Amor's squad.

FORM LINES

Adelaide United: WWDWW

Brisbane Roar: LWWDL

PREDICTION

Adelaide United 2-1 Brisbane Roar