Hyundai A-League preview: Adelaide v City

Melbourne City took the points last time they visited Adelaide United but it will be a vastly different Reds team they face on Friday night in a highly-anticipated Hyundai A-League clash.

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Friday, 11 March 2016

Adelaide United v Melbourne City FC

Coopers Stadium, Adelaide

Kick-Off: 7:10 PM (Local) (7:40 PM (AEDT))

Referee: Chris Beath

Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream

Assistant Referee 2: Paul Cetrangolo

Fourth Official: Rick Schneider

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT), SBS TWO from 7:30pm AEDT and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: 891 ABC Adelaide, 774 ABC Melbourne ABC Local Radio SA, ABC Local Radio Vic, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live. Crocmedia A-League Live (www.facebook.com/A-leagueLIVERadio). 5RTI (Adelaide)

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

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

#ADLvMCY

Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 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), 23.Jordan ELSEY, 24.Bruce KAMAU, 26.Jordan PUDLER

**two to be omitted**

Isaias wins possession in Adelaide's loss to Shandong on Tuesday night.

Ins: 8.ISAIAS (returns from injury), 15.Ben WARLAND (promoted), 26.Jordan PUDLER (promoted)

Outs: 21.Tarek ELRICH (groin – 4 weeks)

Unavailable: 19.Eli BABALJ (knee – season)

Melbourne City FC Squad: 1. Thomas SORENSEN (GK), 2. Alex WILKINSON, 3. Aaron HUGHES, 4. Connor CHAPMAN, 5. Ivan FRANJIC, 8. Aaron MOOY, 9. Harry NOVILLO, 11. Michael ZULLO, 16. Jason TRIFIRO, 17. Wade DEKKER, 18. Paulo RETRE, 19. Ben GARUCCIO, 20. Dean BOUZANIS, 23. Bruno FORNAROLI, 24. Patrick KISNORBO, 25. Jacob MELLING, 27. Nick FITZGERALD, 33. Osama MALIK

**two to be omitted**

Wade Dekker celebrates his goal on debut for Melbourne City against the Sky Blues.

Ins: 3. Aaron HUGHES (promoted), 16. Jason TRIFIRO (promoted), 17. Wade DEKKER (promoted)

Outs: 29. Anthony CACERES (quad – approx. 1 week)

Unavailable: 7. Corey GAMIERO (knee – season)

BLUFFER'S GUIDE

If you haven't bought into the Adelaide hype yet, the Reds could very well convince you over the next fortnight.

In the start of a challenging last five rounds before the Hyundai A-League Finals, Adelaide will host fourth-placed City on Friday and then travel to Western Sydney Wanderers, currently second, next week.

Win those two games and they will undoubtedly be favourites for the premiership and championship.

Coach Guillermo Amor deserves so much credit for turning the Reds around - they started the season with an eight-game win-less run but haven't lost in their past 14 matches.

Adelaide players celebrate opening the scoring against Wellington at Westpac Stadium.

And with clean sheets in their last three fixtures, Adelaide look to be the complete team.

City also claimed a clean sheet last week, knocking off Sydney FC 3-0 at home, but it was only their second of the 2015-16 campaign.

Defence remains City's main weakness and Patrick Kisnorbo and Co. will have to be at their best to thwart Adelaide's multi-faceted attack.

City will be without Anthony Caceres (quadriceps), while Adelaide will miss Tarek Elrich (groin) for at least four weeks, although his loss is tempered by the return of Isaias.

City captain Patrick Kisnorbo celebrates his headed goal against the Mariners.

OPTA DATA

  • Adelaide's 4-0 win over Wellington Phoenix last week saw the Reds set a new club record for consecutive games without defeat
  • Not since Round 24 of the 2012-13 A-League season has either team kept a clean sheet in this fixture
  • Adelaide have kept a clean sheet in each of their last three matches, never before in their A-League history have they notched four in a row
  • City haven't won away from home since Round 10 this season

ROUTE TO GOAL

These two teams could hardly have more different set-ups in the forward third.

While record-breaking striker Bruno Fornaroli is City's focal point, Adelaide's entire squad continues to chip in on the scoreboard.

Amor's side have won their past four games, scoring 11 goals from six different players.

After a tough start to the season, however, centre-forward Bruce Djite appears to have found his shooting boots, with the 28-year-old having hit the back of the net in three of Adelaide's past four matches.

Bruce Djite celebrates scoring Adelaide's third goal against the Phoenix.

Midfielder Stefan Mauk has also been critical, scoring twice in six matches, continuing his strong scoring form after leaving City in January - the 20-year-old has six goals for the season.

Fornaroli's hat-trick last week took him to 20 goals for the season - more than any player has ever previously managed in an A-League regular season.

But City are far from a one-trick pony, with Aaron Mooy (10 goals) and Harry Novillo (9 goals) supporting the Uruguayan.

Both teams will need to be switched on in the opening 15 minutes after half-time, as City are both the leading scorers (12 goals) and worst defensive team (9 goals) in that period of matches this term.

Melbourne City players celebrate one of Bruno Fornaroli's three goals against Sydney FC on Saturday night.

WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Bruno Fornaroli. The former Danubio striker broke Besart Berisha's record at AAMI Park last week, while Fornaroli struck twice in Adelaide earlier in the season as City triumphed 4-2. Can he wreak havoc at Coopers Stadium again?

FORM LINES

Adelaide United: DWWWW

Melbourne City: LDWLW

PREDICTION

Adelaide United 2-1 Melbourne City

#ADLvMCY