Brisbane Roar are in the City of Churches without Caltex Socceroo striker Jamie Maclaren to meet a win-less United side. An intriguing Harvey Norman Friday night clash awaits at Coopers Stadium.
Adelaide United v Brisbane Roar FC
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Kick-Off: 7:20PM (Local) (7:50PM (AEDT))
Referee: Chris Beath
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream
Assistant Referee 2: Paul Cetrangolo
Fourth Official: Daniel Elder
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT), SBS TWO from 7.30pm AEDT and Sky Sport 1 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 891 ABC Adelaide & ABC Local Radio South Australia, 612 ABC Brisbane & ABC Local Radio Queensland, Grandstand Digital, online and via the app, Crocmedia A-League Live (www.facebook.com/A-leagueLIVERadio), EON Sports Radio (eonsportsradio.com)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #ADLvBRI
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 8.ISAÍAS, 9.Sergi GUARDIOLA, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 13.Marc MARINO, 14.George MELLS, 15.Ben WARLAND, 16.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 17.Nikola MILEUSNIC, 18.Riley McGREE, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.John HALL (gk), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Ryan KITTO, 24.Jordan O’DOHERTY, 25.James HOLLAND
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 17.Nikola MILEUSNIC (promoted), 18.Riley McGREE (promoted), 25.James HOLLAND (return from injury)
Outs: 12.Mark OCHIENG (not selected)
Unavailable: 2.Michael MARRONE (Achilles – 4 weeks), 7.HENRIQUE (knee – 4 weeks), 11.Sergio CIRIO (knee – 6 weeks), 23.Jordan ELSEY (knee – season), 45.Danny CHOI (contract expired)
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 3.Luke DEVERE, 4.Daniel BOWLES, 5.Corey BROWN, 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 10.Brett HOLMAN, 11.Tommy OAR, 13.Jade NORTH, 15.ARANA, 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 17.Matt MCKAY (c), 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 33.Joey KATEBIAN
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 8.Jacob PEPPER (promoted), 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS (promoted), 33.Joey KATEBIAN (returns from illness)
Outs: 9.Jamie MACLAREN (international duty – 1 week)
Is history about to repeat itself for the Reds?
It’s been a rough start for Gui Amor’s reigning champs, winless after five rounds, coming off four 2-1 defeats in a row and on the bottom of the Hyundai A-League.
But, as history tells us, they went eight games without registering three points last season before going on to win the double. It was one of the biggest stories in Aussie sport. But that was last season...
If they are to repeat those heroics, you get the feeling they’ll have to start turning things around right about now.
Friday night, at home with a big crowd behind them and with Brisbane missing their star striker, Adelaide will see this as a prime opportunity to get their season off life support.
And while not overly impressive, Roar have surged up to second spot on the back of three consecutive one-goal wins.
John Aloisi’s troops have shown great resilience – especially in the win over Melbourne City last week.
The challenge now is to get their free-flowing passing game going at a higher level.
The absence of Jamie Maclaren on international duty is a blow but there’s still plenty of attacking talent on show with Brandon Borrello expected to start.
Superb surface, two quality squads: should be a decent night's entertainment.
ROUTE TO GOAL
Roar need to find a replacement for in-form striker Maclaren who misses this one on Caltex Socceroos duty in Thailand.
The most obvious choice would be to bring in Brandon Borrello as a direct swap for Maclaren. He offers similar traits – speed, energy and good eye for goal.
The other option is to use either Brett Holman or Thomas Broich in that central area as a “false 9”, and use either Borrello or Dimitri Petratos elsewhere.
For the Reds, the return of Marcelo Carrusca last weekend has been a rare bright spot in a barren start to their title defence.
He looked good – although a little underdone – in his 30-minute cameo against the Mariners on Sunday and Adelaide will need him on the ball as much as possible to penetrate Brisbane’s excellent rear-guard.
Spanish striker Sergi Guardiola has been progressively better for Amor in the first five rounds and is now starting to add goals to his neat play.
But it’s the wide areas where Adelaide will look to attack through the speed and work-rate of youngsters Ryan Kitto and Jordan O’Doherty. Their battles with Roar's high-energy fullbacks Corey Brown and Jack Hingert could light up this Harvery Norman Friday night battle.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Marcelo Carrusca. The Argentine made his long-awaited return from injury last weekend and could be ready to go from the start on Friday night. How the Reds have missed his class and creative flair since the start of the season.
FORM LINES (last five games)
Adelaide United 2-2 Brisbane Roar