Hyundai A-League preview: Adelaide v Melbourne City

Tim Cahill and Co. are in Adelaide Thursday night as the home side look to reignite a disappointing season against a City side that got back to winning ways last week.

MATCH DETAILS

Thursday, 12 January 2017

Adelaide United v Melbourne City FC

Coopers Stadium, Adelaide

Kick-Off: 7:20PM (Local) (7:50PM (AEDT))

Referee: Jonathan Barreiro

Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream

Assistant Referee 2: Paul Cetrangolo

Fourth Official: Rick Schneider

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: ABC Adelaide, ABC Radio Melbourne, ABC Local Radio SA/Vic, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live, 1116 SEN (Melbourne), Crocmedia A-League Live (www.facebook.com/A-leagueLIVERadio), FIVEaa

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

To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au

Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Taylor REGAN, 7.HENRIQUE, 8.ISAÍAS, 9.Sergi GUARDIOLA, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Sergio CIRIO, 12.Mark OCHIENG, 15.Ben WARLAND, 16.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.John HALL (gk), 22.Ryan KITTO, 24.Jordan O’DOHERTY, 25.James HOLLAND 

**two to be omitted**

Marcelo Carrusca

Ins: 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA (returns from injury), 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA (returns from injury), 12.Mark OCHIENG (promoted), 15.Ben WARLAND (promoted)

Outs: 17.Nikola MILEUSNIC (quad – 2 weeks), 21.Tarek ELRICH (suspended – 1 week)

Unavailable: 14.George MELLS (ankle – 1 week), 18.Riley McGREE (ankle – 1 week), 23.Jordan ELSEY (knee – season)

Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (gk), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 3.Josh ROSE, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Osama MALIK, 9.Nicolas COLAZO, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Bruce KAMAU, 12.Nick FITZGERALD, 14.Daniel ARZANI, 17.Tim CAHILL, 18.Paulo RETRE, 20.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI (c), 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Fernando BRANDAN

**two to be omitted**

Melbourne City youngster Daniel Arzani in action against Perth Glory in Round 3.

Ins: 14.Daniel ARZANI (promoted), 18.Paulo RETRE (promoted), 27.Fernando BRANDAN (returns from suspension)

Outs: 8.Neil KILKENNY (suspended – match)

Unavailable: 7.Corey GAMEIRO (ACL – season), 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI (ACL – season)

BLUFFER'S GUIDE

Melbourne City's Westfield FFA Cup success seems a long time ago.

Last week's 1-0 win over 10-man Western Sydney Wanderers was City's first in the Hyundai A-League since they defeated Sydney FC to lift the FFA Cup on November 30.

While City moved up to third in the table with that triumph, their stuttering December where they managed four draws and a loss from five games has seen Bruno Fornaroli and Co. drop 13 points behind leaders Sydney.

With John van 't Schip having resigned as coach, it hasn't been an easy time for City and if they're to mount a serious campaign for Hyundai A-League silverware, Thursday night's clash at Coopers Stadium will be vital.

It could be a good time for Michael Valkanis' men to meet Adelaide United.

Ivan Franjic celebrates his goal against the Wanderers with City interim coach Michael Valkanis.

The reigning champions simply can't get a foothold in the 2016/17 Season with last week's 2-0 loss to Melbourne Victory the Reds' ninth defeat of the campaign.

Adelaide created two times as many chances as Victory on Saturday night but were held scoreless for the fourth time in five matches.

Stranded at the bottom of the table - Adelaide are three points behind ninth-placed Central Coast Mariners - the Reds are starting to unravel with fans targeting club management - rightly or wrongly - for perceived poor investment in the squad.

The likelihood of reaching the finals is slim for Adelaide but with under two months until the 2017 AFC Champions League begins, now is as good a time as any for Guillermo Amor's men to get out of their rut.

The return of Marcelo Carrusca and Iacopo La Rocca from injury is undoubtedly a boost for Adelaide but they lose Nikola Mileusnic (quadriceps) and Tarek Elrich (suspension).

City are almost at full strength with Fernando Brandan returning from suspension, although Neil Kilkenny is banned from this game due to accumulation of yellow cards.

Tarek Elrich and Fernando Brandan contest possession when their sides met in Round 4.

OPTA DATA

  • Melbourne City have won three of their last five games against Adelaide United, including a 2-1 win when they last met in October 2016.
  • Adelaide have scored nine goals in their last three Thursday fixtures, winning twice. Though, their only Thursday loss across those matches came in a 4-2 defeat to Melbourne City in November 2015.

ROUTE TO GOAL

Despite some promising moments, Adelaide's marquee striker Sergi Guardiola has been disappointing in his maiden A-League campaign.

The big Spaniard has notched just three goals in 14 matches and although that makes him the Reds' equal top scorer alongside Henrique, it isn't enough for Amor's leading striker.

Guardiola hasn't scored in eight games and it's about time Amor tried someone else - whether it be Henrique, Sergio Cirio or youngster Marc Marino - at the point of the attack.

City's problem has generally been at the defensive end this season.

During their winless December, City failed to keep a clean sheet but the return of Michael Jakobsen from injury last week saw that streak end.

WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Ivan Franjic. The full-back scored his first goal for City last week in spectacular fashion, thumping a volley into the bottom corner from outside the penalty area.

FORM LINES (last five games)

Adelaide United: LLLDL

Melbourne City: DLDDW

PREDICTION

Adelaide United 0-2 Melbourne City