Preview: Adelaide United v Brisbane Roar
Adelaide United and Brisbane Roar both showed signs of improvement in their drawn results last week and are equally desperate to return to the winners' circle after a series of disappointing results.
Date: Friday November 6 Kick-off: 7:30pm ACST (8pm AEST) Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium
TV and Radio: Live & exclusive broadcast on Fox Sports 2 and Sky Sport 2. To purchase tickets visit www.venuetix.com.au
Head-to-head Played 13: Wins: Adelaide United 6, Queensland Roar 2, Draws: 5
Previous meeting Adelaide United 1, Queensland Roar 0, Hindmarsh Stadium, Preliminary Final, February 2009
Past five matches:
Round 9: Adelaide United 1, Newcastle Jets 1, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 10: Perth Glory 1, Adelaide United 0, Members Equity Stadium Round 11: Adelaide United 2, Sydney FC 1, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 12: Melbourne Victory 3, Adelaide United 1, Etihad Stadium Round 13: Central Coast 0, Adelaide United 0, Canberra Stadium
Round 9: Melbourne Victory 2, Brisbane Roar 1, Etihad Stadium Round 10: Brisbane Roar 0, Gold Coast United 1, Suncorp Stadium Round 11: Brisbane Roar 0, Central Coast 3, Suncorp Stadium Round 12: Sydney FC 2, Brisbane Roar 1, Sydney Football Stadium Round 13: Brisbane Roar 1, Newcastle Jets 1, Suncorp Stadium
Adelaide United and Brisbane Roar both showed signs of improvement in their drawn results last week and are equally desperate to return to the winners' circle after a series of disappointing results. But does either side have the finishing skills to deliver the knockout blow required to collect the three points?
That is the big question heading into this Friday's clash at Hindmarsh Stadium.
The Reds were pleased to record their first clean sheet in five games during their 0-0 result with the Central Coast Mariners last weekend. But coach Aurelio Vidmar admits the final pass in the attacking third remains the downfall for his team in what has proven a season of missed opportunities.
Replacing Lloyd Owusu with Cristiano was an inspired move three weeks ago but after scoring two goals against Sydney FC the Brazilian has found the going tougher. He'll also be without the support of the energetic Mathew Leckie who'll miss the game with a hamstring strain.
While it won't be a direct swap, the return of Cassio from a back injury will soften the blow of losing Leckie.
Brisbane's predicament is a little more concerning with last week's 1-1 result against bottom team Newcastle earning them their first point in five matches.
Roar coach Ange Postecoglou described the performance as a 'step in the right direction' but like Vidmar is frustrated his side is struggling to kill off an opposition.
With the game locked away at a goal apiece, Brisbane went on the attack in the second half with Tommy Oar, Danny Tiatto and Sergio van Dijk testing but not beating Jets goalkeeper Ben Kennedy.
Perhaps the inclusion of Reinaldo, back from a hamstring strain, will add the polish needed to turn close calls into damaging goals.
Neither team takes impressive form into this contest but Adelaide may draw on past successes for a boost in confidence.
Adelaide beat Brisbane in last season's preliminary final and has only lost to the Roar twice in 13 encounters.
While the Roar is improving they won't record their third win over a United line-up which is desperate to build momentum in back-to-back home games starting on Friday.
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, 9.CRISTIANO, 10.Adam HUGHES, 11.Lloyd OWUSU, 13.Travis DODD (c), 14.Scott JAMIESON, 16.Inseob SHIN, 18. Fabian BARBIERO, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 21.Mark RUDAN
In: Daniel MULLEN (promoted), Inseob SHIN (promoted), CASSIO (returns from injury)
Out: Mathew LECKIE (hamstring - 2 weeks)
Unavailable: Michael MARRONE (knee - 1 week), Paul REID (calf - 1 week), Joe COSTA (knee - long term injury list)
Brisbane Roar squad: 2. Andrew PACKER, 3. Luke DEVERE, 4. Craig MOORE (c), 5. Josh McCLOUGHAN, 6. David DODD, 9. Sergio VAN DIJK, 11. REINALDO, 12. Matt MUNDY, 15. Matt McKAY, 16. Bob MALCOLM, 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 18. Danny TIATTO, 19. Isaka CERNAK, 20. Griffin McMASTER (gk), 23. Tim SMITS, 27. Ivan FRANJIC, 29 Mario KARLOVIC, 30. Matt ACTON (gk)
In: REINALDO (returns from injury), Bob MALCOLM (promoted)
Out: Tommy OAR (international duty)
Unavailable: Michael ZULLO (groin - 4 weeks), Massimo MURDOCCA (fractured leg - 4 weeks), HENRIQUE (injured - 2 weeks), Liam REDDY (quadriceps injury - 2 weeks), Charlie MILLER (groin injury - 2 weeks)