Preview: Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory

No team wants to wait too long to crack it for the first win of the year so this match will have plenty of intensity.

Date: Friday, October 14 Kick-off: 8.00pm AEDT, 7.30pm local Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium

Head-to-head Played 37: Wins: Victory 17, Adelaide 14, Draws: 6

Previous encounter Adelaide United 2, Melbourne Victory 1, February 2011

History: This is one of the great rivalries of the Hyundai A-League, with the hatred (among fans at least) stemming from the ill-tempered grand final in year two of the Hyundai A-League. The overall ledger is pretty even, with Melbourne Victory just edging the Reds in the head-to-head count. But don't forget Victory held an unbeaten 10-match run over Adelaide before the Reds delivered a 4-1 thumping at Hindmarsh late last season.


Past five matches: Adelaide: LWWLL Melbourne: WDDLD

Summary of form: Reds coach Rini Coolen admitted Perth deserved their 1-0 win over his side in the season opener but saw some positive signs along the way. With seven new faces in the line-up, bedding down combinations and fluency is going to take time. The fact it took the Glory - despite their dominance - until the 76th minute to find the back of the net gave Coolen great heart. Back at home in front of a full house, Adelaide will be a difference proposition this time around. Melbourne Victory could consider themselves a tad fortunate to finish with a point in the much-hyped clash with Sydney. Brett Emerton missed a penalty that could have seen the Sky Blues claim all three points. But Victory looked good in patches and will be better now that one H Kewell has a competition game under his belt.

Match Committee: Carlos Hernandez has been rushed back into the Victory XI after unexpectedly being released from national duty with the Costa Rican team. Leigh Broxham is also a likely starter with Billy Celeski (thigh) missing out. Socceroo Dario Vidosic is expected to play for Adelaide after missing the Perth game through injury.

Danger men: Dario Vidosic - Returning to Australia from the German Bundesliga, the classy striker's first match back was delayed due to injury last week. But Reni Coolen has given every indication he will unleash the one-time Socceroo in front of the Hindmarsh faithful. Vidosic is only 24 and promises to be a wonderful addition to this Adelaide line-up. His stint with Brisbane in the 2006-07 season netted five goals in 17 starts.

Carlos Hernandez - Another player who missed the season opener but with a more-than-reasonable excuse. Carlos was busy representing Costa Rica against Brazil and was expected to stick around for a friendly against Cuba. But when that match was suddenly canned, the sublimely talented midfielder hopped on a plane and arrived unannounced at Victory training. Adelaide may be left shaking their fists at the Cubans for backing out, especially if Hernandez gets near a free kick. His combination with Kewell will be fascinating to watch.

At the end of the day… Early days, of course, but no team wants to wait too long to crack it for the first win of the year so this match will have plenty of intensity. The Victory opened the Kewell era with a scoreless draw against Sydney FC, with early season rust evident in much of what they did. Their marquee man performed strongly and will only get better with more game time - and when those around him start to gel. The Victory get the classy Hernandez back so they will be even more dangerous in the opposition third. Adelaide were first-up losers to Perth and could not dispute they were second best on the day. They will be better for the run and revel in the atmosphere of a sold-out home crowd. No surprise if this one ends in a draw with a goal apiece.


Adelaide United Squad: 1.Eugene Galekovic (Gk), 2.Osama Malik, 4.Jon Mckain, 6.Cassio, 7.Zenon Caravella, 8.Evgeniy Levchenko, 9.Sergio Van Dijk, 10.Dario Vidosic, 11.Bruce Djite, 14.Cameron Watson, 16.Spase Dilevski, 17.Iain Ramsay, 20.Mark Birighitti (Gk), 21.Francisco Usucar, 22.Milan Susak, 23.Andy Slory *One To Be Omitted*

In: Dario Vidosic (Promoted) Out: Daniel Mullen (Hamstring - 1 Week) Unavailable: Nigel Boogaard (Ankle - 4 Weeks)

Melbourne Victory squad: 2. Matthew Foschini, 3. Fabio, 4. Petar Franjic, 6. Leigh Broxham, 7. Matthew Kemp, 8. Grant Brebner, 9. Jean Carlos Solorzano, 10. Archie Thompson, 11. Marco Rojas, 12. Rodrigo Vargas, 13. Diogo Ferreira, 15. Tom Pondeljak, 16.Carlos Hernandez, 17. Jimmy Jeggo, 19. Isaka Cernak, 20. Lawrence Thomas (GK), 21. Ante Covic (GK), 22. Harry Kewell, 23. Adrian Leijer (c) *Five to be omitted*

In: 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ (returns from international duty), 13.Diogo FERRIERA Out: 14. Billy Celeski (corked thigh), 18. Danny Allsopp (omitted) Unavailable: Tando Velaphi (stress fracture)