Preview: Adelaide v Perth Glory

Adelaide are tough to beat at home and will be so again on Friday as Perth look to turn around their flagging fortunes.

Date: Friday, January 11, 2013 Kick-off: 7:30pm AEDT, 7:00pm local Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium, Adelaide

Head-to-head Played: 30, Wins: Adelaide United 11, Perth Glory 11, Draws: 8

Previous encounter: Adelaide 1-1 Perth, November 11, 2012

Form: Past five matches: Adelaide: WLLWD Perth Glory: WWDLD

The Game: Both sides have different motivations for snaring a result in Adelaide on Friday, but neither is less important than the other. The Reds still sit in second place but continue to look over their shoulder at Melbourne Victory and can close the gap on leaders Central Coast to one point if they win and Victory defeat the Mariners in Launceston on Saturday.

Ian Ferguson's Glory, meanwhile, are staring at a fourth game without a win and are slowly losing touch with the top four following Sunday's 2-2 draw at home to Sydney.

The Glory will feel it was two points dropped after Seb Ryall's header cancelled out what looked like a Shane Smeltz winner 10 minutes from time, the second time Perth had led.

Smeltz will be the key again for Perth, with the New Zealand international scoring his third and fourth goals of the campaign against the Sky Blues in an otherwise disappointing season.

Perth have a good record against the Reds, with four wins in their past six clashes, including a 1-1 draw at Hindmarsh in November when Dario Vidosic earned Adelaide a point following Billy Mehmet's opener for the Glory.

That result cost Adelaide two of the paltry five points they have dropped at home all season.

Perth defender Michael Thwaite remains sidelined with a calf injury for at least another week.

The big issue: With striker Billy Mehmet heading off to Bangkok that leaves Smeltz as the Glory's only experienced front man.

Ferguson is already adamant he has a replacement lined up but the decision to rule a line through former England international Michael Owen seemed a little surprising.

The 33-year-old ex-Real Madrid, Manchester United and Liverpool striker has been afforded few chances to play for Premier League side Stoke this season but is a proven poacher.

Perth have scored fewer goals (16) than any other side in the A-League this season but Ferguson felt Owen was not the answer to that quandary, with younger candidates being sought before the January transfer window shuts.

The game breaker: Vidosic scored last time these sides played and has eight this season, five of which have been away from the Reds' Hindmarsh fortress. The Qantas Socceroo is being courted by clubs in Japan after his superb form this season and is often the man to light the fire for Adelaide. Vidosic may find himself opposed to the tough-tackling Jacob Burns at stages on Friday and is in the form of his career.

Prediction: Adelaide 2-0 Perth: Adelaide are tough to beat at home and will be so again on Friday. The Reds have scored 16 of their 24 goals at home this season from eight matches, a tally Perth have managed from all 15 of their games.

Conversely, the Glory have mustered only four points from seven away games, scoring a measly three goals in the process, and will be up against it if the likes of Vidosic and Bruce Djite are on song. Reds 'keeper Eugene Galekovic was also in sterling form against the Jets last week and will be tough to breach, particularly for Perth who are poor away from home.

If Adelaide get the first goal the game will open up. Perth's best chance may be to keep the Reds at bay for as long as possible and then ride their luck on the break.