Preview: Adelaide United v Brisbane Roar
Adelaide United has lost its last three matches and will be desperate to finish its season on a high by recording wins in its last two games.
Date: Saturday, February 6 Kick-off: 7.30pm local (8pm AEDT) Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium TV and Radio: Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and 1 HD and Sky Sport 2. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is 107.9 Life FM (Adelaide). To purchase tickets visit www.venuetix.com.au
Head-to-head Played 15: Wins: Adelaide United 7, Brisbane Roar 3, Draws: 5
Previous meeting Brisbane Roar 0, Adelaide United 1, Suncorp Stadium, Round 18, December 2009
Past five matches: Adelaide United: Round 22: Gold Coast 1, Adelaide United 1, Skilled Park Round 23: Adelaide United 1, Central Coast Mariners 1, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 19: Adelaide United 2, Perth Glory 3, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 24: Melbourne Victory 2, Adelaide United 0, Etihad Stadium Round 25: Wellington Phoenix 1, Adelaide United 0, AMI Stadium
Brisbane Roar: Round 21: Gold Coast United 5, Brisbane Roar 1, Skilled Park Round 22: Wellington Phoenix 3, Brisbane Roar 1, Westpac Stadium Round 23: Brisbane Roar 0, Newcastle Jets 2, Suncorp Stadium Round 24: North Queensland 1, Brisbane Roar 1, Dairy Farmers Stadium Round 25: Brisbane Roar 1, Sydney FC 0, Suncorp Stadium
Analysis: Adelaide United has lost its last three matches and will be desperate to finish its season on a high by recording wins in its last two games.
By doing so the Reds would have some chance of avoiding their first wooden spoon while the confidence that late success would bring would bode well ahead of their opening Asian Champions League match on February 24.
Unfortunately United seems to be treading water with a similar story behind every game. Last week's 1-0 loss against Wellington was a typical result this season - statistics show the team had slightly more possession than the Phoenix, 14 corners to five and almost the same amount of shots on target and yet it still failed to trouble the scorers.
The Reds were forced to use some of its inexperienced players last week but could be strengthened by the return of Mark Rudan, Kristian Sarkies, Cassio, Alemao, Lloyd Owusu and Mark Birighitti who've been included in the team's extended squad. Coach Aurelio Vidmar has also made a surprise selection in Marcos Flores who wasn't expected to play before the ACL.
Brisbane's slim finals aspirations remains alive after pulling off an upset 1-0 victory over Sydney FC last weekend.
The Sky Blues were denied on a couple of occasions by goalkeeper Matt Ham before Roar striker Serjio van Dijk scored the winner in the 88th minute.
The victory puts them four points behind Wellington and Newcastle meaning they'll more than likely need to win their last two matches to earn a place in the finals.
Andrew Packer has been included in the Roar's squad at the expense of David Dodd.
Playing crunch games at Hindmarsh Stadium is not a new concept for Brisbane which lost 1-0 in the preliminary final last year.
The Roar are coming off a win and will be hungrier but there's every chance the bolstered Reds will rally for one last hoorah in front of their loyal fans who've had little to cheer about in 2009-10.
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 3.ALEMAO, 4.Iain FYFE, 5.Daniel MULLEN, 6.CASSIO, 7. Lucas PANTELIS, 8. Kristian SARKIES, 10.Adam HUGHES, 11.Lloyd OWUSU, 13.Travis DODD (c), 14.Scott JAMIESON, 17.Michael MARRONE, 18.Fabian BARBIERO, 19.Mathew LECKIE, 20. Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 21.Mark RUDAN, 24. Marcos FLORES
In: Mark RUDAN (returns from injury) Kristian SARKIES (promoted), CASSIO (returns from injury), ALEMAO (returns from injury), Lloyd OWUSU (returns from trial), Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk) (returns from injury, Marcos FLORES (promoted)
Out: Evan KOSTOPOULOS (omitted), Nick MUNRO (omitted), Francesco MONTEROSSO (omitted), Inseob SHIN (omitted)
Unavailable: Paul REID (groin - 2 weeks), Joe COSTA (knee - long term injury list), CRISTIANO (knee - indefinite)
Brisbane Roar squad: 1.Matt HAM (gk), 2.Andrew PACKER, 3.Luke DEVERE, 4.Pieter COLLEN, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA, 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 10.Steven BRYCE, 11.REINALDO, 13.HENRIQUE, 14.Adam SAROTA, 15.Matt McKAY (c), 17.Mitch NICHOLS, 20.Griffin McMASTER (gk), 21.Tommy OAR, 22.Ivan FRANJIC
In: Andrew PACKER (promoted)
Out: David DODD (omitted)
Unavailable: Josh McCLOUGHAN (hip flexor 1 week)