We might be only one match into the season, but the signs are already looking great for Adelaide.
Date: Friday 12 October, 2012 Kick-off: 7.30pm AEST, 7.00pm local Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium
Head-to-head First meeting
Previous encounter First meeting
Form: Past five matches: Adelaide: W Western Sydney: D
The Game Adelaide made a flying start to the new Hyundai A-League season with a 2-0 win over Newcastle despite enduring a disrupted build-up following their midweek AFC Champions League loss to Bunyodkor in Tashkent. In further good news for the club, they will be boosted by the return of Iain Fyfe and Fabian Barbiero, who both served one-match suspensions for receiving two yellow cards against Bunyodkor. Striker Sergio van Dijk and defender Jon McKain could also return after both missed the season-opening win over Newcastle with minor injuries.
The Wanderers began life in the A-League with a respectable scoreless draw against Central Coast. The fledgling franchise have put together an exciting squad with a good blend of youth and experience. Japanese star recruit Shinji Ono started on the bench and impressed in his second-half cameo against the Mariners and could force his way into the starting line-up against the Reds.
The big issue (One per club) Reds - Can Adelaide back up their impressive first win against Newcastle with another win against a team they are expected to beat?
The Reds won just five games last year, but appear to have turned the corner under coach John Kosmina as has been evident by their impressive performance in the ACL and their victory over the Jets. With the likes of new signings Jeronimo Neumann and Fabio Ferreira adding valuable pace to their line-up, the task for Adelaide now is produce consistent performances week in week out.
Wanderers - The new side already surprised many with their ability to hold out one of the competition's heavyweights, but do they have enough quality to find the back of the net? Aside from a couple of chances to Labinot Haliti, the Wanderers struggled to carve out any good goal-scoring opportunities against the Mariners. Shinji Ono will be better for the run and does have the necessary quality, but the jury is still out on Haliti and Croatian import Dino Kresinger.
Gamebreaker Gamebreaker Shinji Ono - The Wanderers marquee has had more time to adjust and gtet some training under his belt, which will likely mean more minutes and some serious headaches for a Reds side without Dario Vidosic to run their attack.
Prediction: We might be only one match into the season, but the signs are already looking great for Adelaide.
It's still too early to tell how competitive the Wanderers will be, but judging by their first encounter they will be anything but easybeats. However, with their confidence rising high and playing in front of their home fans, expect the Reds to take the points in this clash 2-0.