Preview: Adelaide United FC v Melbourne Heart
All the latest team news ahead of the big match at Hindmarsh
Adelaide United v Melbourne Heart Friday 17th December 7:30pm
Aim for the top! Be part of the Friday night excitement as The Reds strive to keep up their title aspirations with an eighth home win on the spin.
While everyone is going crazy for Brisbane Roar and many assume them to be nailed on to win the old toilet seat at the end of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season, Adelaide United would beg to differ.
Sure, a look at the ladder shows Roar to be seven points clear at the top, but, with two games in hand, and with an unbelievable record at Hindmarsh - it-s now seven straight wins and counting - The Reds still fancy themselves to pip their title rivals at the post.
As the horizon nears, and the games take on more and more importance, United are calling on all fans to get along to Hindmarsh Stadium and get right behind the players as they go for glory. Your support has been epic so far this season, it-s time to go that extra yard and help your team end the campaign with silverware in their hands.
This Friday-s blockbuster against struggling Melbourne Heart is the perfect opportunity to give them your full encouragement. So paint Hindmarsh red and sing your hearts out as Rini Coolen-s troops look to - not merely consolidate second place - but keep the heat on Brisbane Roar.
If last week-s game is anything to go by, then fans will be in for a treat on Friday night. Then, a very professional and solid performance sent a noisy crowd home very happy indeed after goals from two absolute legends, Marcos Flores and Sergio van Dijk, inside the opening quarter of an hour settled the issue against North Queensland Fury.
While some might have expected the home team to go on and get a cricket score, the more sensible fan will be more delighted with the fact that they kept a clean sheet and held on for a comfortable win against a side that have been causing other teams a few problems of late.
A similarly professional display against Melbourne Heart this Friday would do very nicely thank you. They-ll be without defender Robert Cornthwaite though, who has been ruled out with a hamstring injury. Meanwhile, Heart boss John van‘t Schip will have to mastermind a way to cope without injured playmaker Gerald Sibon, who is sidelined after getting injured in Saturday-s derby match.
Heart will be looking for a complete reversal of the experience they went through last weekend. In front of a huge AAMI Park crowd, they fell to defeat to their fiercest rivals, Melbourne Victory. In a game high on intensity and passion, Heart put in plenty of effort but succumbed to a 3-1 defeat.
Not only was the loss tough to take - coming against the side that they had previously got the better of - but it was the team-s sixth defeat in the last seven games. A horrific run that has only heralded a solitary point from a possible 21.
Considering how low on confidence John van-t Schip-s side clearly are, they won-t be boosted by their head-to-head record with this weekend-s hosts. The two meetings between the sides in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season have both gone in The Reds- favour. Back in Week 3, United won a five-goal thriller at Hindmarsh. Having twice pegged back a deficit, Heart seemed to be heading for a draw, but a winner from Iain Ramsey with just two minutes to go sent the home fans wild. If they were unlucky to lose that brilliant game, then there was little ill-fortune about Heart-s recent loss to Adelaide. The Reds- 2-0 triumph at AAMI Park was comfortable, and a good example of how Heart have gone from being a tough nut to crack to a team that has forgotten how to win.
Can United make it a hat-trick of wins against Heart and keep the pressure on Brisbane? Will Heart finally stop their dismal run and revive their top six ambitions? Anything is possible in this ultra-competitive Hyundai A-League campaign, so get along to Hindmarsh Stadium and see for yourself!