After a year without finals football, Adelaide United return to host Brisbane Roar in Sunday's sudden-death semi-final at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Date: Sunday April 7, 2013 Kick-off: 5pm AEST Venue:Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide Head-to-head Played: 25, Wins: Adelaide United 9, Brisbane Roar 8, Draws: 8
Previous encounter Adelaide United 0 Brisbane Roar 1, March 2 2013
Form: Past five matches: Adelaide United: DLDWL Brisbane Roar: WWLDW
The Game After a year without finals football, Adelaide United return to host defending champions Brisbane Roar in Sunday's sudden-death Hyundai A-League semi-final at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Adelaide endured their second-worst campaign last season when they finished ninth on the back of five wins, their record lowest total.
However, a change in personnel and tactics has seen the Reds return to the upper echelons of Australian football.
The Reds finished the regular season in fourth position following their 1-1 draw away to Perth Glory last week.
But Adelaide head into the weekend's second elimination final struggling for form, having won just one of their past seven games.
The only win of that run came against a woeful Melbourne Heart outfit and Michael Valkanis' men will need to improve dramatically if they are to overcome an in-form Roar side.
Under the guidance of Mike Mulvey, Brisbane secured fifth position and a finals berth after disposing of rivals Sydney FC 3-1 in the closing round of the regular season.
The result was further evidence of a resurgent Roar team, who stormed towards the finals with just one defeat in seven outings and are just two wins away from an unprecedented third Grand Final appearance.
The Big Issue Adelaide: Can the Reds rediscover their spark? It's been quite a horrendous start to the New Year, with just three wins from 13 games in 2013. To make matters worse Adelaide are winless in four games against Brisbane at Hindmarsh and have already lost twice to the Roar this season, both of those defeats coming on home soil.
Brisbane: At no stage this season have the Roar won three games on the bounce. Back-to-back wins have featured twice during this campaign and they head into Sunday's match on the back of two successive victories. If they are to have any chance of claiming a record third consecutive A-League title, they will need to win four in a row, something they haven't done since February last year.
Gamebreaker Besart Berisha - After a slow start to the season, he is back to his lethal best. The Albanian marksman scored just five goals before Rado Vidosic departed but since Mulvey's arrival, Berisha has hit nine, including six from his past nine matches. And if form wasn't enough cause for concern, Berisha's history against Adelaide should ring alarm bells with five goals in six appearances against the Reds - his second-highest tally against any A-League club.
Prediction Adelaide 1-2 Brisbane. In 25 previous meetings between the two sides, 14 of those have seen only one side score. Expect that to be different on Sunday and while Adelaide will be up for the fight in front of the Reds faithful, Brisbane should make it three in a row in South Australia.
Ticketing information Category A - $40 Adult, $20 Concession, $99 Family Category B - $30 Adult, $15 Concession, $75 Family Transaction and Credit card fees apply