Last season, Adelaide United defeated Melbourne City in consecutive matches on their way to the Hyundai A-League double, but John van 't Schip's Cityzens seem to be made of sterner stuff this season.
Friday, 28 October 2016
Melbourne City FC v Adelaide United
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-Off: 7:50PM (Local) (7:50PM (AEDT))
Referee: Chris Beath
Assistant Referee 1: David Walsh
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Shchetinin
Fourth Official: Jonathan Barreiro
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: 774 ABC Melbourne & ABC Local Radio Vic, 891 ABC Adelaide & ABC Local Radio SA Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live, Crocmedia A-League Live (www.facebook.com/A-leagueLIVERadio), 1116 SEN (Melbourne), EON Sports Radio (eonsportsradio.com)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #MCYvADL
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au
Melbourne City FC Squad: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (GK), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 3.Josh ROSE, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Osama MALIK, 8.Neil KILKENNY, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Bruce KAMAU, 12.Nick FITZGERALD, 13.Yoshi, 14.Daniel ARZANI, 17.Tim CAHILL, 18.Paulo RETRE, 20.Dean BOUZANIS (GK), 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI (C), 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Fernando BRANDAN, 34.Denis GENREAU
**three to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Ivan FRANJIC (promoted/returns from injury), 13.Yoshi (new signing), 34.Denis GENREAU (promoted)
Unavailable: 7.Corey GAMEIRO (ACL - season), 9.Nicolas COLAZO (ear - tbc), 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI (tbc)
Adelaide United Squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Taylor REGAN, 8.ISAÍAS, 9.Sergi GUARDIOLA, 12.Mark OCHIENG, 13.Marc MARINO, 14.George MELLS, 16.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 18.Riley McGREE, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.John HALL, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Ryan KITTO, 24.Jordan O’DOHERTY, 25.James HOLLAND, 45.Danny CHOI
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 13.Marc MARINO (promoted), 12.Mark OCHIENG (promoted), 14.George MELLS (promoted)
Outs: 7.HENRIQUE (Knee - 6 weeks)
Unavailable: 2.Michael MARRONE (Achilles - 9 weeks), 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA (Foot - 4 weeks), 11.Sergio CIRIO (Knee - 7-9 weeks), 17.Nikola MILEUSNIC (Quad - 3 weeks), 23.Jordan ELSEY (Knee - season)
Could we see a symbolic passing of the torch on Friday night as reigning Hyundai A-League champions Adelaide United visit big-spending Melbourne City?
It's only Round 4 but some will see this match as the title-holders taking on their obvious successors.
As the only club to have utilised all three marquee slots in the 2016/17 Season, City appear to have more firepower than any of their rivals, while Adelaide enter this match without a win this season.
But the Reds should have some confidence ahead of this clash as they have lost just three of their past 11 meetings with City, including a victory in the final round of last season to clinch the Premiers Plate and a semi-final triumph two weeks later as they closed in on their first championship.
Adelaide have looked to be on the right track over the past fortnight but have ended up with zero points from consecutive home games against Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory, with the visitors scoring in second-half stoppage time in each match.
Plus, coach Guillermo Amor has an unenviable injury list at the moment, with Henrique (knee) joining Marcelo Carrusca (foot), Sergio Cirio (knee), Jordan Elsey (knee), Nikola Mileusnic (quadriceps) and Michael Marrone (Achilles tendon) on the sidelines this week.
City - for all their impressive play over the past month - did lose 3-2 to Perth Glory last week, as Kenny Lowe's men in purple exposed a weakness at set-pieces and defending counterattacks.
John van 't Schip's team bounced back with a 2-0 FFA Cup semi-final triumph over Victory on Tuesday night but again looked slightly shaky in defensive transition.
Hyundai A-League leaders Sydney FC and Glory have justifiable early claims to the title but if City can overcome Adelaide, the hype surrounding Tim Cahill and Co will only increase.
ROUTE TO GOAL
Even when City appear to be stifled they still find a way to hit the back of the net.
There's little doubt Van 't Schip's troops were less polished against Glory and Victory in the past week but they scored two goals in each match.
If it's not Bruno Fornaroli or Cahill, the likes of Fernando Brandan, Luke Brattan and Anthony Caceres can impact the scoreboard.
Amor will have to rejig Adelaide's attack again this week following Henrique's injury but youngsters Jordan O'Doherty and Danny Choi both impressed off the bench versus Victory and should benefit from the impressive hold-up work of Sergi Guardiola.
The Spanish striker is yet to get off the mark in the A-League but leads the Reds for shots on target (5) and fouls won (12) this season.
WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Fernando Brandan. The feisty Argentine has scored in three consecutive matches for City, including their FFA Cup win over Victory, and has four goals in five games in all competitions.
FORM LINES (last three league games)
Melbourne City: WWL
Adelaide United: DLL
Melbourne City 2-1 Adelaide United