Adelaide United and Brisbane Roar will both head into their Boxing Day clash with a point to prove after a disappointing Round 12.
Date: Wednesday 26 December, 2012 Kick-off: 7.30pm AEDT, 7.00pm local Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium
Head-to-head Played: 24 Wins: Adelaide 10, Brisbane 6, Draws: 8
Previous encounter Brisbane 0, Adelaide 1, 4 November 2012
Form: Past five matches: Adelaide: LWWLW Brisbane: LDLWL
The Game Adelaide United and Brisbane Roar will both head into their Boxing Day clash with a point to prove after a disappointing Round 12.
Mike Mulvey's appointment as the Roar's head coach failed to arrest the reigning Hyundai A-League champions' poor form as they lost at home to Perth Glory on Friday night in a match Brisbane urgently needed to win if they are to push for the finals.
Mulvey has revealed he will be looking to make changes in the January transfer window, making Wednesday's trip to Adelaide one of two opportunities left for his players to impress before they might be replaced.
For Adelaide, Friday night's 6-1 demolition at the hands of the Western Sydney Wanderers ranks as one of the worst performances in the club's history.
Adelaide head coach John Kosmina claimed the Wanderers 'bashed up' his side and the Reds will need to show a bit more determination against what is likely to be a desperate Roar line-up.
The big issue Adelaide - Having claimed his side were outmuscled by Western Sydney, it will be interesting to see how Kosmina and Adelaide United react. Expect a bit more intensity from the Reds in one-on-one battles but will Kosmina go one step further and bring in a second defensive midfielder versus the Roar? Adelaide's boss has shown this season he is willing to tweak his starting line-up depending on the opposition but has generally stuck with Osama Malik as the only defensive midfielder. Bringing in someone like Fabian Barbiero would be a clear sign Kosmina believes his team needs strengthening in the middle of the park.
Brisbane - The Roar have scored just 14 goals in 12 games this season and only one in their past three matches. Last season's A-League top-scorer Besart Berisha has five goals for the season but has only scored once in open play in two months. Can Brisbane's lead striker turn his form around? Berisha is Mulvey's only genuine option to play through the middle of the Roar's attacking trio and if the Albanian does not improve soon, Brisbane's new coach will most likely be in the market for a new striker when the transfer window opens.
Gamebreaker Eugene Galekovic - Adelaide United's captain and goalkeeper will surely be smarting after being beaten six times at Parramatta Stadium on Friday night. With Brisbane struggling in front of goal, a resurgent performance from Galekovic could provide the platform for a home win for the Reds.
Prediction: Adelaide United 1-1 Brisbane Roar.
Everyone involved in the league seems to be waiting for Brisbane to flick a switch and hit good form again but after failing against Perth the dual-reigning champions are clearly in a slump. While the Roar continue to have the majority of possession in most matches, they lack the cutting edge of previous seasons. With Kosmina likely to give Adelaide a more solid look for Brisbane's visit, this match looks on track for a draw. A stalemate will not be too problematic for the Reds, as they will simply be keen to avoid back-to-back losses, but Brisbane can ill-afford to drop many more points if they are to defend their A-League title.