Preview: Adelaide United v Sydney FC
Sydney comes into its second successive game on the road knowing a win will not only consolidate its spot on top of the table but will also put considerable pressure on Adelaide, which could lose touch with the top six.
Preview: Adelaide United v Sydney FC Date: Friday October 16
Kick-off: 7:30 pm ACDT, 8:00pm AEDT Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide
TV and Radio: Live & exclusive broadcast on Fox Sports 1 HD and Sky Sport 2. To purchase tickets visit www.venuetix.com.au Head-to-head 15 Hyundai A-League meetings: Wins: Sydney 8, Adelaide 5, Draws - 2
Last meeting Sydney FC 1, Adelaide United 0, SFS, Round 2, August 2009
Past five matches: Adelaide: Round 6: Adelaide United 1, Central Coast Mariners 0, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 7: Adelaide United 0, Melbourne Victory 2, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 8: North Queensland 0, Adelaide United 2, Dairy Farmers Stadium Round 9: Adelaide United 1, Newcastle Jets 1, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 10: Perth Glory 1, Adelaide United 0, ME Bank Stadium
Sydney FC: Round 6: Sydney FC 0, North Queensland 1, Sydney Football Stadium Round 7: Sydney FC 2, Newcastle Jets 1, Sydney Football Stadium Round 8: Brisbane Roar 1, Sydney FC 0, Suncorp Stadium Round 9: Sydney FC 1, Central Coast Mariners 0, Sydney Football Stadium Round 10: Melbourne Victory 0, Sydney FC 3, Etihad Stadium
Analysis: Sydney comes into its second successive game on the road knowing a win will not only consolidate its spot on top of the table but will also put considerable pressure on Adelaide, which could lose touch with the top six.
Sydney was so impressive against Melbourne last week, scoring three goals in four first-half minutes to make its biggest statement of the season. While the Sky Blues' season has been a bit up and down, things took a big upward turn with this performance and there are now plenty of believers on the bandwagon.
However, while a lot of the focus was on Sydney's best attacking performance of the year, the defence, led by Simon Colosimo, was even more impressive. So good has the former Perth Glory defender been this year, that he has even been mentioned as a bolter for the Qantas Socceroos squad. But of more immediate concern is continuing Sydney's strong start to the season and building his partnership with Sebastian Ryall.
Sydney has statistically the best defence in the league, having conceded just seven goals in ten games, and one in its past three. The influence of Vitezslav Lavicka had made them a more compact unit and very difficult to break down. It-s also worth noting that Sydney's best start to the season, which has seen it win six of its first 10, has been achieved without considerable impact from marquee man John Aloisi.
Aloisi came off the bench late against Melbourne and is looking to get back to full fitness. Given the form of Mark Bridge (two goals) and Alex Brosque (one) last week, then Lavicka will not be in a major rush to get him playing 90 minutes.
These two teams have already met this year, and Brosque and Bridge combined to score the only goal in the match. Aurelio Vidmar will be well-and-truly aware of the danger Sydney's two attacking men pose in this match.
Adelaide has a few attacking concerns of its own, having managed just nine goals in 10 games this season. Only one of its strikers, Lloyd Owusu, has scored this year, while five of its goals have come from midfield duo Lucas Pantelis and Travis Dodd. In a big blow for the Reds, Dodd will miss this game through injury.
However, Paul Reid, who has only played five matches this year, returns from injury, Daniel Mullen returns after his time with the Qantas Young Socceroos, and Insheob Shin has also been added to an extended squad.
Sydney has called back Kofi Danning and Rhyan Grant who have both been on Young Socceroos duties into an extended squad, while Stephan Keller (knee) and Mitchell Prentice (back) are another week away.
History says there is little between these teams, with Sydney holding an advantage on head-to heads, but Adelaide having won four of seven at Hindmarsh. The last six games between the pair have yielded results. Given Sydney's win last week and the fact it is coming into this match on top, the visitors will start slight favourites, but the pressure is on Adelaide, without its inspirational skipper to stand up in front of its home crowd and get the result it needs to get its season going.
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, 12. Paul REID,14.Scott JAMIESON, 16.Inseob SHIN, 18.Fabian BARBIERO, 19.Mathew LECKIE, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 21.Mark RUDAN *three to be omitted*
In: Paul REID (returns from injury), Daniel MULLEN (promoted), Inseob SHIN (promoted)
Out: Travis DODD (calf -1 week)
Unavailable: Joe COSTA (knee - long term injury list)
Sydney FC squad: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 6. Karol KISEL, 7. Brendan GAN, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 9. John ALOISI, 10. Steve CORICA (c), 11. Kofi DANNING, 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 17. Matthew JURMAN, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 22. Sung Hwan BYUN, 23. Rhyan GRANT *two to be omitted*
In: Kofi DANNING (promoted), Rhyan GRANT (promoted)
Unavailable: Stephan KELLER (knee - 1 week), Mitchell PRENTICE (back - 1 week)