Preview: Adelaide v Wellington
Adelaide United remains at the bottom of the Hyundai A-League ladder but has renewed enthusiasm after beating Brisbane Roar last week and will be looking to make it two in a row when it hosts Wellington on Friday night.
Date: Friday December 18 Kick-off: 7.30pm local (8pm AEDT) Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium TV and Radio: Live & exclusive broadcast on Fox Sports 2 and Sky Sport 1. Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is 107.9 Life FM (Adelaide) and Radio Network (Wellington) 1035AM. To purchase tickets visit www.venuetix.com.au.
Head-to-head Played 7: Wins: Adelaide United 4, Wellington Phoenix 0, Draws: 3
Previous meeting Wellington Phoenix 1, Adelaide United 1, Westpac Stadium, Round 5, September 2009
Past five matches: Wellington Phoenix: Round 14: Wellington Phoenix 1, Perth Glory 1, Westpac Stadium Round 15: Newcastle 0, Wellington Phoenix 1, EnergyAustralia Stadium Round 16: Brisbane 4, Wellington Phoenix 1, Suncorp Stadium Round 17: Wellington Phoenix 1, Melbourne Victory 1, Westpac Stadium Round 18: Wellington Phoenix 0, Sydney FC 1, FMG Stadium
Adelaide United: Round 14: Adelaide United 0, Brisbane Roar 2, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 15: Adelaide United 1, Gold Coast United 1, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 16: North Queensland 2, Adelaide United 1, Dairy Farmers Stadium Round 17: Adelaide United 0, Newcastle Jets 2, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 18: Brisbane Roar 0, Adelaide United 1, Suncorp Stadium
Analysis: Adelaide United remains at the bottom of the Hyundai A-League ladder but has renewed enthusiasm after beating Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium last Saturday.
Midfielder Fabian Barbiero nodded home his first goal of the season while coach Aurelio Vidmar, back at the helm after a two-week suspension, made the right move by shaking up the line-up.
Mark Rudan, Robbie Cornthwaite, Lucas Pantelis and Adam Hughes took a spell and gave some of the National Youth League players a go. The changes worked with Daniel Mullen reminding people of his talent while Michael Marrone's second half was admirable too.
Adelaide's next challenge is to record back-to-back victories, something it hasn't done this season, and win at home, something it hasn't done for two months.
Rudan, Cornthwaite and Pantelis have been included in the Reds' extended squad so it'll be interesting to see who'll come into the side to replace Paul Reid who is struggling with an adductor injury again.
Wellington's 14-game undefeated run on home soil came to an end last weekend when it lost to Sydney FC 1-0.
The Phoenix were competitive, creating plenty of their own scoring opportunities, and will be desperate to record a breakthrough win against the Reds. Unfortunately their tilt at a finals berth has been dealt a blow in recent weeks with goalkeeper Mark Paston and Chris Greenacre injured, Ben Sigmund and Manny Muscat suspended and Andrew Durante, Tim Brown and Vince Lia only a caution away from suspension.
The loss of players is sure to be unsettling but coach Ricky Herbert is trying to set his remaining chess pieces in a winning combination. Pinch-hitter Costa Barbarouses is set to have a more prominent role in attack, freeing up Paul Ifill to play out wide.
And new recruit Liam Reddy has been rushed into the side to add some stability in goals.
Wellington will be looking to put its last appearance at Hindmarsh Stadium behind it - a 6-1 drubbing in 2008-09 - but with an undermanned line-up, it will be more than happy to settle for draw No.10 this season.
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 3.ALEMAO, 4.Iain FYFE, 5.Daniel MULLEN, 6.CASSIO, 7.Lucas PANTELIS, 9.CRISTIANO, 10.Adam HUGHES, 11.Lloyd OWUSU, 13.Travis DODD (c), 14.Scott JAMIESON, 15.Francesco MONTEROSSO, 16.Inseob SHIN, 17.Michael MARRONE, 18.Fabian BARBIERO, 19.Matthew LECKIE, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 21.Mark RUDAN
In: Lloyd OWUSU (promoted), Adam HUGHES (promoted), Robert CORNTHWAITE (promoted), Mark RUDAN (promoted), Lucas PANTELIS (promoted)
Out: Paul REID (abductor - 2 weeks), Kristian SARKIES (quad - 2 weeks)
Unavailable: Joe COSTA (knee - long term injury list)
Wellington Phoenix squad: 3. Tony LOCHHEAD, 4. Jon McKAIN, 5. DIEGO, 6. Tim BROWN, 7. Leo BERTOS, 8. Paul IFILL, 10. Michael FERRANTE, 11. DANIEL, 13. Troy HEARFIELD, 14. Adrian CACERES, 17. Vince LIA, 20. Reece CROWTHER (gk), 21. Marco ROJAS, 22. Andrew DURANTE (c), 23. Costa BARBAROUSES, 40.Liam REDDY (gk)
In: Marco ROJAS (promoted), Michael FERRANTE (promoted), Liam REDDY (gk) (injury replacement player)
Out: Chris GREENACRE (knee - 2 weeks), Jonathan GOULD (gk) (injury replacement player)
Unavailable: Manny MUSCAT (suspended - 1 week), Mark PASTON (knee - 6 weeks), Ben SIGMUND (suspended - 2 weeks)