There is no love lost between Victory and the Reds, and the neutrals will be tuning in too with a potential cracker of beautiful football brewing at Adelaide Oval.
Friday, 17 October 2014
Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory
Adelaide Oval, Adelaide
Kick-Off: 7:10 PM (Local) (7:40 PM AEDT)
Referee: Peter O'Leary
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Shchetinin
Fourth Official: Rick Schneider
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 1HD & 1 from 7.00pm (AEDT), Live Coverage on SBS One from 7.30pm AEDT and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 891 ABC Adelaide, ABC Local radio SA, 774 ABC Melbourne, ABC Local radio Victoria, 936 ABC Hobart and ABC Northern Tasmania, Grandstand Digital, ABC Grandstand Online/A-League Live Mobile phone app.5AA 1395 AM (Adelaide).
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #ADLvMVC
Adelaide United FC Squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (c) (GK), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Osama MALIK, 6.CÁSSIO, 7.PABLO SÁNCHEZ, 8.ISAÍAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE, 16.Craig GOODWIN, 18.Jimmy JEGGO, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Fabio FERREIRA, 24.Bruce KAMAU, 30.John HALL (GK), 32.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Osama MALIK (return from injury), 6.CÁSSIO (return injury)
Unavailable: Cameron WATSON (Toe – 2-3 weeks), Jordan ELSEY (Wrist – 5weeks)
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Nathan COE (GK), 2.Jason GERIA, 5.Mark MILLIGAN (c) 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 11.Connor PAIN, 13.Andrew NABBOUT, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 15.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 17.Matthieu DELPIERRE, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 21.Carl VALERI, 22.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 23.Adrian LEIJER
**Two to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Mark MILLIGAN (c) (returns from international duty), 13.Andrew NABBOUT (promoted)
Unavailable: 4.Nick ANSELL (foot – 3 weeks), 18.Dylan MURNANE (international duty), 24.Scott GALLOWAY (international duty), 26.Jordan BROWN (international duty).
One of the Hyundai A-League's fiercest rivalries has also turned into a battle of the entertainers in recent seasons. Kevin Muscat is building on Ange Postecoglou's ground work in transforming Melbourne Victory into a free-flowing, attacking team, while Josep Gombau has stamped a mark of Latin flair all over Adelaide United.
Victory produced the best performance of the opening round last weekend, demolishing Western Sydney 4-1 in the Friday night curtain-raiser. The Reds meanwhile upstaged the reigning champions in their own backyard, beating 10-man Brisbane Roar 2-1 at Suncorp Stadium.
Both clubs and their supporters will be confident of their team being in contention at the business end of the campaign, so this match is an opportunity to lay down a marker at an early stage of what could prove to be a thrilling season.
OPTA DATA STATS
Victory and Adelaide fancy themselves as teams who treat the ball the right way, and that was borne out in the statistics to emerge from Round 1. Improbably, both sides boasted an identical passing accuracy of 81.8 percent in their respective wins, although Victory shaded it when inside the opposition's half, recording an accuracy of 73.6 percent in Wanderers' territory compared to the Reds' 72 percent during their forays across the half-way line in Queensland.
ROUTE TO GOAL
Victory were at their dynamic best on Friday. Leigh Broxham and Carl Valeri controlled possession to provide their attacking team-mates with a platform to go forward. Archie Thompson and Kosta Barbarouses menaced from wide, with Guilherme Finkler pulling the strings in the hole behind Besart Berisha.
For Adelaide, Bruce Djite produced a master class in centre-forward play at Suncorp, holding up the ball, bringing team-mates into play and bullying the Roar's title-winning centre-backs into submission, as well as scoring a cracking goal from range to pull his side level.
A fascinating match-up with Victory's muscular new centre-back Matthieu Delpierre awaits on Friday, but the visitors would be well advised not to neglect the potent threat posed by the likes Marcelo Carrusca, Sergio Cirio, Fabio Ferreira and newboy Pablo Sanchez.
WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Kevin Muscat made a point of singling out Mark Milligan for special praise after the captain's prompt return from international duty, insisting the midfielder was in contention to return to the starting XI despite Broxham and Valeri's flawless showing against the Wanderers.
Could the Victory boss be trying to play some mind games with Gombau as the Spaniard attempts to second guess the opposition's likely line-up?
DID YOU KNOW?
This will be the first official Hyundai A-League match to be staged at the redeveloped Adelaide Oval, a venue that now holds 53,583 and is already lauded for having one of the best atmospheres in the AFL. Can South Australian football supporters match the cauldron of noise created by Adelaide Crows and Port Adelaide fans?
Result: Adelaide 1-2 Victory
This is a tough one to call but we're not going to sit on the fence and predict a draw. Instead, we think if Victory are able to replicate at least some of the dynamic, coherent attacking they mustered last weekend, it will be too much for an Adelaide team who were confident but still below their best in Brisbane.