Preview: Adelaide United v Brisbane Roar

Adelaide United host Brisbane Roar in Round 9 of the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League season at Coopers Stadium on Friday December 6 at 7.30pm (AEDT).

Adelaide United host Brisbane Roar in Round 9 of the 2013/14 Hyundai A-League season at Coopers Stadium on Friday December 6 at 7.30pm (AEDT).


Played: 27, Wins: Adelaide 10, Brisbane 9, Draws: 8

Previous encounter:

Adelaide 1-2 Brisbane, April 7 2013

Past five matches:

Adelaide: DLDLL Brisbane: WWLWW The Game:

Adelaide were involved in one of the games of the season so far last week, but they won't remember it particularly fondly. Having cruised into a 2-0 lead away to Melbourne Heart, the Reds looked on to track to win for the first time since Round 1, but conspired to find themselves 3-2 down mid-way through the second half, and needed a deflected free-kick to escape from AAMI Park with a point.

The Roar meanwhile eased past Perth Glory to cement their position at the top of the standings, and will go to South Australia as favourites, boosted by the return to fitness of Liam Miller, although the midfielder could struggle to force his way back into a slick Brisbane midfield. The big issue:

Adelaide – Defensive improvement. The Reds have shipped six goals in their last two games, both of which came in Melbourne. After the draw with Heart, coach Josep Gombau said it will take time for his players to adapt to playing a high line at the back, and claimed a lack of pace between centre-backs Osama Malik and Nigel Boogard is not a problem, insisting the onus is on other players to press from the front and defend as a team. They need to take that message on board and tighten up quickly if positive results are to arrive any time soon.

Brisbane – Consistency. The Roar's biggest challenge is to keep winning, no small task in such a closely contested competition. They are likely to go into most games at Suncorp Stadium as favourites, so it is on the road where their title credentials will be truly tested. Adelaide, while undeniably talented, are in poor form and ripe for the taking. Mulvey's men need to go to South Australia and come back with all three points to demonstrate how serious they are about collecting major honours in 2013-14.

The game breaker:

Luke Brattan - It's easy to be distracted by Brisbane's star creative and destructive forces, with playmaker Thomas Broich and marksman Besart Berisha rightly lauded as key men for the Roar. However, unsung hero Brattan has been in tremendous form this season, disrupting attacks and triggering his own team's advances from a deep midfield position. Against an Adelaide team attempting to dominate possession through midfielders Steven Lustica, Isaias Sanchez and Marcelo Carrusca, he is likely to prove influential to the outcome of this clash.