Preview: Adelaide v Perth
Despite it just being Round 1, this clash between Adelaide and the Glory is already shaping up as a battle of the walking wounded as both sides attempt to shrug off niggling complaints.
Date: Friday August 7 Kick-off: 8:00pm AEST (7.30pm local) Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide TV and Radio: Live & exclusive broadcast on Fox Sports 1. Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is LIFE FM (Adelaide), 6PR (Perth) 882AM. To purchase tickets visit www.venuetix.com.au
Head-to-head 12 Hyundai A-League meetings: Adelaide United - 7 wins, Perth Glory - 2 wins, Draws - 3
Previous meeting Adelaide United 1, Perth Glory 0, Members Equity Stadium, Round 17, December 2008
Pre-Season: (Matches against A-League opposition or touring teams) Adelaide United June 26: Adelaide United 1 Perth Glory 0, Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide July 2: North Queensland Fury 3, Adelaide United 2, Darwin Football Stadium, Darwin July 26: Melbourne Victory 2, Adelaide United 1, Aurora Stadium, Launceston
Perth Glory: June 26: Adelaide United 1 Perth Glory 0, Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide July 10: Perth Glory 0, Wolverhampton 1, Members Equity Stadium, Perth July 15: Perth Glory 0, Fulham 5, Members Equity Stadium, Perth July 18: Perth Glory 1, North Queensland Fury 0, Hyundai Stadium, Mandurah July 25: Perth Glory 0, Gold Coast United 1, Hands Memorial Oval, Bunbury
Analysis Despite it just being Round 1, this clash between Adelaide and the Glory is already shaping up as a battle of the walking wounded as both sides attempt to shrug off niggling complaints.
Adelaide, will take heart from its superb recent record against Perth even if it's the club that's been hardest hit by injuries and illness during the break as shown by the club's pre-season results. But the Glory have only beaten Adelaide once in the last eight encounters (including pre-season matches) and lost all three matches last season in some admittedly, very hard-fought encounters.
Although the complexion of both sides has changed markedly, the Reds will be hoping their good record against the Western Australians comes through for them, as their playing stocks are particularly limited. Star signing Mark Rudan won't be available to shore up the defence until at least next week, while former Brighton & Hove Albion striker Lloyd Owusu looks likely to be omitted from the squad. Owusu has made a miracle recovery from a bout of swine flu that was meant to keep him out until Round 4, but coach Aurelio Vidmar may be reluctant to risk his new goal scoring weapon, just for the sake of a few minutes ground time as a substitute.
Midfielder Paul Reid has also been named in the squad but may not be properly match conditioned after just recovering from a quad injury. Same goes for defender Robbie Cornwthwaite, who also contracted swine flu, while Fabian Barbiero (ostetis pubis) and Kristian Sarkies (calf) should be right to go for Round 3.
The Glory, meanwhile, are in something of a similar boat after a bad run with injury and illness over the last month. However, the club's main injury concerns, Andy Todd (back) and Adriano Pellegrino (groin) look likely to start, although Scott Neville (foot) may be used more as a substitute, despite training on Wednesday.
Versatile veteran Jamie Harnwell still has at least three matches to go with his serious hamstring injury and Jimmy Downey up to eight with his knee, but it's been midfielder Wayne Srhoj's tight hamstring that's caused much debate about the Glory's possible line-up. Ordinarily, last year's captain Jamie Coyne would slot into the central midfield role alongside current skipper Jacob Burns, but Neville and Downey's injuries leaves a hole at right back that Jamie Coyne will be required to fill. This makes it increasingly likely that marquee man Mile Sterjovski, recruited as a replacement striker for the departed Nikita Rukavytsya, will line up in the midfield role he does for the Qantas Socceroos, leaving Eugene Dadi and newcomer Branko Jelic as the strike force up front.
Despite the extensive injury list for both clubs, the Reds side is still brimming with quality and retains a core group of players that took them through to last year's grand final. That being said, Adelaide's forwards still face a difficult task negotiating the experienced Todd and Chris Coyne in Perth's defence, although the Glory too, may struggle to score as Dadi could be lining up alongside Jelic for the first time. Those looking for a goalfest may be disappointed but if an intense, dramatic and hard-fought struggle is your cup of tea, then Hindmarsh on Friday night is where it's at.
Adelaide United Squad: Adelaide United Squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 3.ALEMAO, 4.Iain FYFE, 6.CASSIO, 7.Lucas PANTELIS, 9.CRISTIANO, 10.Adam HUGHES, 11.Lloyd OWUSU, 12.Paul REID, 13.Travis DODD (c), 14.Scott JAMIESON, 15.Francesco MONTEROSSO, 16.Inseob SHIN, 17.Michael MARRONE, 23.Joe COSTA, 30.Daniel GODLEY (gk).
* two to be omitted
In: Daniel GODLEY (gk) (short term contract) Unavailable: 5.Daniel MULLEN (hamstring - 3 weeks), 8.Kristian SARKIES (calf - 2 weeks), 18.Fabian BARBIERO (groin - 2 weeks), 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk) (international duty)
Perth Glory Squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3.Jamie COYNE, 4.Andy TODD, 6.Chris COYNE, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 8.Victor SIKORA, 9.Todd HOWARTH, 11.Branko JELIC, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 14.Eugene DADI, 15.Howard FONDYKE, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 18.Brent GRIFFITHS, 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 20.Aleks VRTESKI (gk), 21.Mile STERJOVSKI, 23.Andrija JUKIC
* two to be omitted
Unavailable: Jimmy DOWNEY (knee - 6 weeks), Jamie HARNWELL (hamstring - 3 weeks), Wayne SRHOJ (hamstring - 1 week), Scott BULLOCH (achilles - 2 weeks), Anthony SKORICH (hip - 8 weeks)