There promises to be plenty of fireworks when Adelaide United host Melbourne City in the final game of Round 8 on Sunday night.
The Reds and City have been involved in some epic – and at times fiery – clashes in recent seasons and the importance of this game for both sides could see something similar.
Marco Kurz’s troops fell 2-0 against a red-hot Melbourne Victory last Saturday night in a match that snapped their two-game winning streak.
But their display wouldn’t have disheartened the Reds boss. Only a number of spurned chances were the difference between them taking all three points at Marvel Stadium.
If Adelaide can maintain the same intensity, work-rate, pressing and have more luck in front of goal, they’ll start warm favourites in front of their home fans.
City went down 1-0 against Perth Glory in the west last Saturday night in a display which – like Adelaide – probably deserved more.
It was another story of some impressive build-up play from Warren Joyce’s side but they again looked a little rudderless in the front third.
Whether they can find the bullets in front of goal to trouble a Reds defence which features former City man Michael Jakobsen remains to be seen.
The Reds have lost just one of their last four games against City at Coopers Stadium, while Warren Joyce’s side haven’t tasted success in their last five matches outside of Melbourne.
There’s a fair bit on the line as well, with the winner to consolidate a spot in the top four.
Key Opta Stats
- Melbourne City are undefeated in their last four Hyundai A-League games against Adelaide United (W3, D1), keeping three clean sheets in that time.
- The Reds have lost just one of their last 10 Hyundai A-League games at Coopers Stadium (W4, D5) but have conceded at least one goal in their last nine games at the venue.
- City is one of just two teams (Sydney FC) yet to concede a goal within the opening 15 minutes of a half this season.
Ins and Outs
Adelaide United squad: 1.Daniel MARGUŠ (gk), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Ryan STRAIN, 5.Taylor REGAN, 6.Vince LIA, 7.Ryan KITTO, 8.Isaías SÁNCHEZ (c), 10.Ken ILSØ, 11.Craig GOODWIN, 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 17.Nikola MILEUSNIĆ, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 23.Jordan ELSEY, 26.Ben HALLORAN, 27.Louis D’ARRIGO, 32.Carlo ARMIENTO
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Taylor REGAN (returns from suspension), 7.Ryan KITTO (promoted), 10.Ken ILSØ (promoted)
Outs: 33.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS (quad)
Unavailable: 9.Baba DIAWARA (knee), 14.George BLACKWOOD (collar bone), 18.Lachlan BROOK (knee) 31.Mirko BOLAND (hamstring)
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 2.Ritchie De LAET, 3.Scott JAMIESON (c) , 4.Harrison DELBRIDGE, 5.Bart SCHENKEVELD, 6.Osama MALIK, 7.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 8.Riley MCGREE, 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 13.Nathaniel ATKINSON, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 18.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 19.Lachlan WALES, 21.Ramy NAJJARINE, 25.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 34.Connor METCALFE, 36.Dylan PIERIAS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Ritchie DE LAET (returns from injury), 6.Osama MALIK (returns from injury), 36.Dylan PIERIAS (promoted)
Outs: 22.Curtis GOOD (suspended - 1 week)
Unavailable: 11.Michael O’HALLORAN (hamstring), 27.Florin BERENGUER-BOHRER (calf)
How to watch
Catch all the action on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7:00pm (AEDT) or tune in on the MyFootball Live App.
Be there as the Reds and City do battle to consolidate a spot in the top four. Secure your seat here.