Match preview: Sydney FC v Adelaide United
Sydney FC will be hoping they can start to turn Leichhardt Oval into a home fortress when they welcome Adelaide United to the venue for Friday night football.
The Sky Blues will play their second match at their temporary home ground, with the first game there a disappointing 1-1 draw with last-placed Central Coast Mariners.
But Steve Corica’s men do bring winning form into this one after last weekend’s hard-fought 1-0 triumph over Wellington Phoenix.
There were signs in that match that Sydney’s new-look attack could soon catch fire, although it took Adam Le Fondre’s powerful penalty to take all three points.
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That was Le Fondre’s 14th goal of the campaign to pull two goals clear at the top of the Golden Boot race and he’s the man Adelaide’s patched-up defence will need to stop.
The Reds did a good job at the back to keep Newcastle Jets goalless in their 0-0 draw in the Hunter on Sunday.
But Marco Kurz will hope his team can ask more questions at the other end of the pitch if they are to get a result which will give them some breathing space in the top four.
While the Reds beat Sydney FC in the FFA Cup final at the end of 2018, the Sky Blues have managed a win and draw from the two clashes in the Hyundai A-League this season.
The Sky Blues head into this one unbeaten in their last six home games in the Hyundai A-League, although the Reds haven't lost any of their last four games on the road, so something has to give.
And it will be an extra-special clash for Adelaide United skipper Isaias, who turns out in his 150th game in the Hyundai A-League.
Key Opta stats
- Sydney FC are undefeated in their last eight Hyundai A-League games against Adelaide United (W5, D3), keeping six clean sheets in that span.
- Adelaide United have scored 27 goals so far this Hyundai A-League season, 10 fewer than their Expected Goals suggests they should have, whilst Sydney have scored 34 which is two more than their Expected Goals figure.
- The Sky Blues have conceded just eight second-half goals this Hyundai campaign, fewer than any other team in the competition.
Ins and outs
Sydney FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 2.Aaron CALVER, 3.Ben WARLAND, 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, 16.Reza GHOOCHANNEJHAD, 17.Anthony CACERES, 20.Alex CISAK (gk), 21.Mitch AUSTIN, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 24.Cam DEVLIN, 31.Luke IVANOVIC. **two to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Jop van der LINDEN (promoted), 8.Paulo RETRE (promoted), 21.Mitch AUSTIN (promoted), 24.Cam DEVLIN (promoted)
Outs: 11.Daniel DE SILVA (elbow hyper extension – 4 weeks), 14.Alex BROSQUE (suspended – 1 week – 5 yellow cards).
Unavailable: 12.Trent BUHAGIAR (ACL – indefinite), 19.Chris ZUVELA (knee – indefinite), 22.Siem DE JONG (knee – 2 weeks).
Adelaide United squad: 1.Daniel MARGUŠ (gk), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Ryan STRAIN, 6.Vince LIA, 7.Ryan KITTO, 8.Isaías SÁNCHEZ (c), 10.Ken ILSØ, 11.Craig GOODWIN, 14.George BLACKWOOD, 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 19.Jordy THOMASSEN, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 27.Louis D’ARRIGO, 31.Mirko BOLAND, 32.Carlo ARMIENTO, 33.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS. **two to be omitted**
Ins: 27.Louis D’ARRIGO (promoted), 33.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS (promoted)
Unavailable: 9.Baba DIAWARA (knee), 17.Nikola MILEUSNIĆ (ankle), 18.Lachlan BROOK (knee), 23.Jordan ELSEY (foot), 26.Ben HALLORAN (ankle)
How to watch
Tune in to FOX SPORTS 505 to catch Sydney FC’s home clash against the Reds in a rematch of last year’s FFA Cup decider, which kicks off at 7:50pm (AEDT). You can also stream it live on the MyFootball Live App, while you can also subscribe to Kayo Sports.
HEAD HERE to get your tickets as the Sky Blues look to close the gap on league-leaders Perth when they take on the Reds on Friday night.