The Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season kicks off tomorrow night at 7.50pm (AEDT) with a blockbuster clash between Adelaide United and Sydney FC on Friday night.
Defending Premiers Sydney FC will arrive in Adelaide looking to start their title defence in the strongest manner possible.
But the match against the Reds – who are also the Sky Blues opponents in the FFA Cup 2018 Final – will be intent on spoiling new coach Steve Corica’s debut Hyundai A-League appearance in the dugout.
Sydney’s league dominance in recent years has set the bar sky-high for Corica, but can Adelaide steal the show and issue a statement of their own?
KEY OPTA STATS
73% of all Sydney FC’s goals (48/66, including own goals) scored in 2017/18 directly involved either Bobô or Adrian Mierzejewski, both of whom have now departed the club.
The Reds are undefeated in their last six season openers (W3, D3), and haven’t conceded multiple goals in a Round 1 game since 2007.
Sydney FC are undefeated in their last six games against Adelaide United, keeping a clean sheet on each occasion (W4 D2).
THEY SAID IT
"For us, we are happy we can start the first game in the season against the best team from last year. It's a good feeling if you get the points but you have another 26 games to play a good season." - Reds boss Marco Kurz
"This is round one, you want to start the season off well, you want to get the three points. But looking towards the [FFA Cup] final as well, we can send a bit of a message to them. If we were to put a dominant performance, beat them down there in front of their own crowd, psychologically that can do a lot to them heading into the final." - Sydney FC skipper Alex Brosque
INS AND OUTS
Adelaide United Squad: 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Ryan STRAIN, 5.Taylor REGAN, 6.Vince LIA, 8.Isaías SÁNCHEZ (c), 9.Baba DIAWARA, 10.Ken ILSØ, 11.Craig GOODWIN, 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 23.Jordan ELSEY, 26.Ben HALLORAN, 27.Louis D’ARRIGO, 30.Isaac RICHARDS (gk), 31.Mirko BOLAND, 32.Carlo ARMIENTO
Sydney FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 2.Aaron CALVER, 4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Jop van der LINDEN, 6.Josh BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Paulo RETRE, 9.Adam LE FONDRE, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 20.Alex CISAK (gk), 21.Charles LOKOLI-N’GOY, 22.Siem DE JONG, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 24.Cam DEVLIN, 25.Joel KING. **one to be omitted**
Unavailable: 3.Ben WARLAND (foot – 8 weeks), 11.Daniel DE SILVA (1 week – hamstring), 12.Trent BUHAGIAR (ACL – indefinite), 19.Chris ZUVELA (knee – indefinite)
HOW TO WATCH
Tune in to FOX SPORTS 505 to catch the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 season curtain raiser, with kick-off at 7.50pm (AEDT). You can also stream the match live on the MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers.
You can secure your tickets to the Hyundai A-League curtain raiser here.