Preview: Adelaide United v Wellington Phoenix

Two in-form sides with legitimate claims to top six finishes this season. Should be entertaining fare when these two attack-minded outfits meet in the City of Churches.

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MATCH DETAILS 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

Adelaide United v Wellington Phoenix

Coopers Stadium, Adelaide

Kick-Off: 4:30 PM (Local) (5:00 PM AEDT)

Referee: Strebre Delovski
Assistant Referee 1: Brad Hobson
Assistant Referee 2: George Lakrindis
Fourth Official: Rick Schneider

TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 (FOX SPORTS 4HD & 4) from 4.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: 891 ABC Adelaide, Local Radio South Australia, ABC Grandstand Digital, ABC Grandstand Online/ ABC Radio Mobile phone app  

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #ADLvWEL

Adelaide United 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, 14.Cameron WATSON, 16.Craig GOODWIN, 17.Awer MABIL, 18.Jimmy JEGGO, 20.Paul IZZO (GK), 21.Tarek ELRICH,  22.Fabio FERREIRA, 24.Bruce KAMAU,  32.Nathan KOSTANDOPOULOS

***two to be omitted***

Ins: 7.PABLO SÁNCHEZ (return from injury), 14.Cameron WATSON (return from injury), 22.Fabio FERREIRA (return from injury)

Outs: 6.CÁSSIO (omitted), Bruce DJITE (hamstring – 2-3 weeks)

Unavailable: 11.Bruce DJITE (hamstring – 2-3 weeks), (toe – 2 weeks), 15.Ben WARLAND (ankle – 3 weeks), 23.Jordan ELSEY (knee – indefinite)

Wellington Phoenix Squad: 1.Glen MOSS (GK), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 4.Roly BONEVACIA, 6.Josh BRINDELL-SOUTH, 7, Kenny CUNNINGHAM,  8.Alex RODRIGUEZ, 9.Nathan BURNS, 13.Albert RIERA, 14.Alex RUFER, 17.Vince LIA, 18.Ben SIGMUND, 19.Tom DOYLE, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (GK), 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 31.Andrew BLAKE.

***One to be omitted***

Ins: 6.Josh BRINDELL-SOUTH (promoted), 7.Kenny CUNNINGHAM  (promoted).14.Alex RUFER (promoted), 19.Tom DOYLE (returns from injury), 31.Andrew BLAKE (promoted),

Outs: 5.Michael BOXALL (international duty), 10.Michael McGLINCHEY (international duty), 11.Jeremy BROCKIE (international duty), 16.Louis FENTON (dislocated collar bone 6 weeks).

Unavailable: 12.Tyler BOYD (international duty).15.Jason HICKS (muscle strain 2 weeks).\

PREVIEW

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

Wellington Phoenix have improved considerably early in their second season under Ernie Merrick and head into this game fresh from defeating new AFC Champions League winners Western Sydney Wanderers FC last time out.

But the New Zealand outfit failed their previous big test away from home, losing 2-0 to an under-strength Melbourne Victory.

It's arguably an even tougher task for the Kiwis on Saturday, when they travel to face one of the competition's pace-setters, Adelaide United.

The Reds saw off Central Coast Mariners in the Westfield FFA Cup semi-finals on Wednesday, a victory that was more comfortable than the 3-2 scoreline suggests.

Joint second on the table going into Round 6, they will have designs on top spot after narrowly failing to beat Sydney at home in the league last Friday night.

OPTA DATA STATS

It's likely to be a busy night for the Phoenix defence at Coopers Stadium, a venue where they lost 5-1 on their previous visit in February.

Ben Sigmund was in fine form against the Wanderers last week, winning 62.5% of his duels, 100% of his aerial duels and making eight interceptions, the most of any Phoenix defender in all three categories. 

He did so without giving away a foul in the match, but it will take another night of maximum concentration from Sigmund and fellow centre-back Andrew Durante to shut out their Reds in their own backyard.

ROUTE TO GOAL

After slicing open the Mariners three times on Wednesday, Adelaide may still be wondering how they failed to breach the Sydney defence in Round 5.

Josep Gombau's men had 17 shots, six on target and nine of them inside the box. Three were blocked, while Marcelo Carrusca hit the post with a free-kick and somehow contrived to miss late on when it seemed easier to score. 

Vedran Janjetovic was undeniably in inspired form and the onus will be on Nix shot-stopper Glen Moss to bring his A-game to South Australia this weekend.

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

It's been confirmed Awer Mabil will travel to the Netherlands during the Hyundai A-League's Asian Cup hiatus in January to trial with Eredivisie giants Ajax.

The fleet-footed youngster scored against the Mariners and set up the third on Wednesday, as he begins to translate his raw promise into a regular threat, although the 19-year-old still needs to work on the consistency of his end product.