Josep Gombau's Adelaide United will be determined to secure maximum points at home against an inconsistent but still dangerous Brisbane Roar outfit, whose own finals hopes are now hanging by a thread.
Saturday, 11 April 2015
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Kick-Off: 4:30 PM (Local) (5:00 PM AEST)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (GK) (c), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Osama MALIK, 7.PABLO SÁNCHEZ, 8.ISAÍAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 11.Bruce DJITE, 14.Cameron WATSON, 16.Craig GOODWIN, 17.Awer MABIL, 18.Jimmy JEGGO, 19.Miguel PALANCA, 20.Paul IZZO (GK), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 24.Bruce KAMAU, 32.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 7.PABLO SÁNCHEZ (returns from injury), 21.Tarek ELRICH (returns from suspension), 32.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS (promoted)
Outs: 15.Ben WARLAND (not selected)
Unavailable: 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA (quadricep – 1-2 weeks), 23.Jordan ELSEY (knee – indefinite)
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 5.Corey BROWN, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.ANDRIJA Kaluderovic, 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO,14.Daniel BOWLES, 15.James DONACHIE, 16.Devante CLUT, 17.Matt McKAY (c), 18.Luke BRATTAN, 19.Jack HINGERT, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 26.Lachlan JACKSON, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 33.Luke DeVERE, 36.Fraser CHALMERS (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 15.James DONACHIE (return from international duty), 26.Lachlan JACKSON (promoted), 33.Luke DeVERE (return from international duty)
Outs: 13.Jade NORTH (injured)
Unavailable: 1.Michael THEO (gk) (quad – 1 week), 2.Jerome POLENZ (quad – 3 weeks), 10.HENRIQUE (knee – 8 weeks), 13.Jade NORTH (groin – 1 week)
TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEST) and Sky Sport (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app.
Referee: Strebre Delovski
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream
Assistant Referee 2: Paul Cetrangolo
Fourth Official: Daniel Elder
When this match kicks off at Coopers Stadium on Saturday evening, the Reds will know what they need to do.
A day earlier the joint leaders Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory will have played at home.
Should both fail to win, the Reds have a chance move into first place, as they did briefly after beating Sydney FC 1-0 away last weekend.
Getting the better of the Roar hasn't always been that simple for Adelaide though, who suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat to Frans Thijssen's side in their last meeting in December.
Counting in the home team's favour is the fact Brisbane have been in AFC Champions League action as recently as Wednesday, suffering a 3-1 loss away to Suwon Bluewings.
A combination of that deflating result and the serious air miles involved in reaching South Korea and then heading to South Australia will surely leave the men in orange vulnerable to an Adelaide onslaught this weekend.
Lose this one though, and the reigning champions could find themselves as much as nine points behind sixth-placed Melbourne City FC, should John van 't Schip's men win at home to Wellington Phoenix on Sunday.
The Roar do have a game in hand on City, but it's against Melbourne Victory, the first of two successive matches against the title favourites. Make no mistake, it's very much a question of 'must-win' for Brisbane from this point onwards.
- Including playoff games, Brisbane have enjoyed six wins in their last eight meetings with Adelaide United.
- At home, Adelaide have lost six and drawn one of their last seven A-League games (inc. playoffs) with Brisbane Roar.
- In these seven aforementioned home games, Adelaide have managed to score just three goals in total.
- In regular A-League season play only, Adelaide have lost eight home games against Brisbane Roar; twice as many as they have lost against any other opponent at home.
ROUTE TO GOAL
They're considered one of the best passing teams in the competition but Adelaide benefited from a direct approach at Allianz Stadium last weekend, goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic finding substitute Awer Mabil, who did the rest to score the only goal and earn a crucial victory over Graham Arnold's Sky Blues.
Marcelo Carrusca is still out with a quadriceps strain, but in Sergio Cirio, Miguel Palanca, Bruce Djite, Pablo Sanchez and Craig Goodwin, the Reds surely have enough firepower to account for the Roar, who looked particularly brittle at the back in the second half of their loss to Suwon midweek.
]Brisbane also struggled to create chances in that defeat to K-League opposition, which came as something of a surprise after they demolished the Central Coast Mariners 6-1 at home a week prior. The return to fitness of Thomas Broich has added much needed creative vision and incisiveness in the final third, but Brazilian striker Henrique remains sidelined.
It will be up to Dimitri Petratos, Jean Carlos Solorzano, Brandon Borrello and Andrija Kaluderovic - the latter two were on target in the thrashing of the Mariners - to try and break down the Reds' backline at Coopers Stadium.
WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
He was the match-winning hero in Sydney last weekend but lively young forward Mabil could yet join Carrusca on the sidelines for the visit of Brisbane. The Young Socceroo is suffering from the same problem - a quad strain - as the Argentine playmaker, but has at least been named in the matchday squad.