Hyundai A-League preview: Victory v Adelaide
The Victoria and South Australia rivalry still burns bright as the high-flying Victory - who could be top of the league by round's end - host the bottom placed Reds.
Saturday, 28 November 2015
Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
Kick-Off: 7:30 PM (Local) (7:30 PM (AEDT))
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Assistant Referee 1: Luke Brennan
Assistant Referee 2: Brad Hobson
Fourth Official: Chris Beath
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live. SEN Radio (Melbourne)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #MVCvADL
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 2.Jason GERIA, 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6.Leigh BROXHAM (c), 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 11.Connor PAIN, 13.Oliver BOZANIC, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 17.Matthieu DELPIERRE, 18.Dylan MURNANE, 19.George HOWARD, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI, 22.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 24.Thomas DENG
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Jason GERIA (return from injury), 8.Besart BERISHA (return from injury), 21.Carl VALERI (return from injury)
Outs: 33.Joey KATEBIAN (omitted)
Unavailable: 4.Nick ANSELL (injured), 10.Archie THOMPSON (injured)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 2.Michael MARRONE, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 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, 18.Jimmy JEGGO, 20.John HALL (gk), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 23.Jordan ELSEY, 24.Bruce KAMAU, 25.Ruon TONGYIK
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 15.Ben WARLAND (promoted), 17.Mate DUGANDZIC (promoted), 25.Ruon TONGYIK (promoted from youth team)
Outs: 5.Osama MALIK (hamstring – 4 weeks)
Unavailable: 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA (foot – 3 weeks), 19.Eli BABALJ (foot – 2 weeks)
Adelaide United have struggled to produce an even performance this season.
From rounds 3-6, the Reds conceded 14 goals in four matches but scored five at the other end in the same period.
Last week, with the return of goalkeeper and captain Eugene Galekovic, Adelaide kept Newcastle Jets not only goalless but shot-less, although they couldn't breach the visitors' defence at the other end.
So what's next? The reigning A-League champions, no less.
Adelaide's hopes of a breakthrough win this term seem slim against Melbourne Victory on Saturday.
Victory have won five consecutive matches in all competitions and welcome back marquee striker Besart Berisha and captain Carl Valeri from injury this week.
Three points could see Victory top the A-League by the end of the round.
* Melbourne Victory are undefeated in their last seven matches against Adelaide United (W3, D4) though they've beaten them by more than a single goal only once in that period.
* Adelaide have lost each of their last five away fixtures in the A-League, their longest streak in the competition's history.
* Despite no team having scored fewer goals than them so far this season, Adelaide United have the best shooting accuracy of any team (52.8%).
ROUTE TO GOAL
Adelaide coach Guillermo Amor has struggled to replicate the free-flowing attacking play of his predecessor Josep Gombau.
Under Gombau, the Reds had scoring options all over the pitch. Amor doesn't seem to have one.
Super-sub Pablo Sanchez (2 goals) is Adelaide's leading scorer this season but has only started one match, while Sergio Cirio, Marcelo Carrusca and Bruce Djite are struggling to replicate their best form.
By contrast, Victory coach Kevin Muscat struggles to include all his attacking weapons at the one time.
Berisha (5 goals) is back this week after effectively being rested in Victory's 2-1 win over Central Coast Mariners, while Gui Finkler (3) and Kosta Barbarouses (2) are both in fine form.
If Oliver Bozanic and the returning Valeri gain a stranglehold on midfield, the Big V could be unstoppable at Etihad.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Gui Finkler. After scoring a brace against the Mariners, the Brazilian has sparked a discussion about which foreign players Muscat should pick in his AFC Champions League squad.
FORM LINES (previous five games)
Melbourne Victory: WWWWW
Perth Glory: LLLLD
Melbourne Victory 3-0 Adelaide United