Preview: Adelaide United v Gold Coast United
It will be an interesting battle of styles this match between the flowing and attacking nature of the Gold Coast and the defensively-disciplined Adelaide.
Date: Friday August 21 Kick-off: 7:30pm ACST, 8:00pm AEDT Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium TV and Radio: Live & exclusive broadcast on Fox Sports 1. Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is 107.9 LIFE FM (Adelaide). To purchase tickets visit www.venuetix.com.au
Head-to-head First meeting
Season so far: Adelaide United: Round 1: Adelaide United 1, Perth Glory 0, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 2: Sydney FC 1, Adelaide United 0, SFS
Gold Coast United: Round 1: Brisbane Roar 1, Gold Coast United 3, Suncorp Stadium Round 2: Gold Coast United 5, North Queensland 0, Skilled Park
Analysis: Gold Coast's spectacular entrance to the Hyundai A-League has the whole competition buzzing, with the 5-0 drubbing of North Queensland reminding all that this highly-talented team is a genuine contender this year.
What is most stunning is the way the Gold Coast players have come together off a short preparation and are playing fantastic team football, with quick ball movement and clinical finishing, in particular from Shane Smeltz, who has five goals in his first two games.
So successful has the club been in its first two matches that chairman Clive Palmer has been warning off potential bids for his star players, mainly Smeltz. The club has already sold Adam Griffiths to Saudi Arabia and with the campaign started so positively, has no plans on further breaking up what has been a winning combination so far.
While Smeltz has been getting the headlines, Joel Porter's return to Australia has been successful as well and the pair are forming a deadly partnership, while Jason Culina has been offering excellent service.
Miron Bleiberg gets back defenders Daniel Piorkowski and Robson into an extended squad, while former Adelaide keeper Robbie Bajic comes in as back up to Scott Higgins and Andrew Barisic is also included. Steve Pantelidis is free to play after having his Disciplinary Committee hearing adjourned.
Jerrad Tyson makes way, while Jefferson and Jess Vanstratten are still long-term injury concerns. James Brown (shin) should be available next week.
Adelaide is coming off a narrow loss to Sydney which followed a narrow win over Perth, in a steady start to the season. The Reds' two matches to date have featured the least goals of the round, re-enforcing their standing as one of the best defences in the competition.
But Aurelio Vidmar's headaches remain at the other end of the pitch having had just three shots on target in 180 minutes of football so far this season. Travis Dodd's penalty against Perth is their only goal in that time.
Lucas Pantelis and Dodd have been their two main threats going forward, but they have lacked a finisher, with defender Robbie Cornthwaite getting forward on several occasions against Sydney. Lloyd Owusu could be the man and he is set to make his first appearance in the Hyundai A-League after battling the after effects of swine flu.
Adelaide's strength in wide defensive positions is also enhanced by the return of talented youngster Daniel Mullen and the ever dangerous Cassio. Conversely, Paul Reid will miss at least three weeks, while Mark Rudan has been omitted. Kristian Sarkies (calf) is three weeks away, while Fabian Barbiero (groin) will miss another week.
It will be an interesting battle of styles this match between the flowing and attacking nature of the Gold Coast and the defensively-disciplined Adelaide. This is the first time Gold Coast has had to make a significant road trip and it will be its toughest test of character so far.
Adelaide United Squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 3.ALEMAO, 4.Iain FYFE, 5.Daniel MULLEN, 6.CASSIO, 7.Lucas PANTELIS, 9.CRISTIANO, 10.Adam HUGHES, 11.Lloyd OWUSU, 13.Travis DODD (c), 14.Scott JAMIESON, 15.Francesco MONTEROSSO, 16.Inseob SHIN, 17.Michael MARRONE, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 23.Joe COSTA *two to be omitted*
In: CASSIO (returns from illness), Daniel MULLEN (returns from injury), Lloyd OWUSU (promoted)
Out: 12.Paul REID (abductor - 3 weeks), 21.Mark RUDAN (omitted)
Unavailable: 8.Kristian SARKIES (calf - 3 weeks), 18.Fabian BARBIERO (groin - 1 week)
Gold Coast United Squad: 20.Scott HIGGINS (gk), 2. Steve PANTELIDIS, 3.Michael THWAITE, 4.Daniel PIORKOWSKI, 5.ROBSON, 7.Zenon CARAVELLA, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 10.Jason CULINA (c), 13.Bas VAN DEN BRINK, 14.Joel PORTER, 15.Tahj MINNIECON, 16.Kristian REES, 17.Matt OSMAN, 19.Andrew BARISIC, 22.Adama TRAORE, 23.Steve FITZSIMMONS, 24.ANDERSON, 40.Robbie BAJIC (gk) *three to be omitted*
In: 40. Robbie BAJIC (short-term contract), 4.Daniel PIORKOWSKI (return from groin injury), 5.ROBSON (return from groin injury), 19.Andrew BARISIC (promoted).
Out: 30.Jerrad TYSON (not selected)
Unavailable: 8.JEFFERSON (knee injury - 9 weeks), 18.James BROWN (shin injury - 1 week), 1.Jess VANSTRATTAN (ankle injury - 4 weeks), 2.Steve PANTELIDIS (suspended - 1 week)