Preview: Gold Coast United v North Queensland Fury
Smeltz is back to provide the goals as United go for Gold! A legend returns for an intrastate clash
Gold Coast United v North Queensland Fury
Smeltz is back to provide the goals as United go for Gold! A legend returns for an intrastate clash. Why be anywhere else?
If there is one thing that has been lacking in Gold Coast United-s season so far, it-s goals. Their defence is mean as anything, but it is a lack of firepower at the other end that has prevented Miron Bleiberg-s men from being a top two side as they failed to fill the Shane Smeltz-shaped hole in their frontline after the striker departed for pastures new at the start of the season.
Who better then, to fill that hole, than Smeltz himself? Re-signed on Monday, he might just be the man to help United end their campaign with a frenzy of goals, starting this Friday night in the Queensland derby against Fury at Skilled Park.
Beach beware though! Home advantage has counted for absolutely nothing in the two fixtures between these rivals in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season.
So, if you want to help your side secure three points and keep their diminishing top two dreams alive, then you-ll need to be at your most vocal. In derby tussles like this, the noise in the stands can make a vital difference on the pitch. So match the passion levels that will undoubtedly be on display on the field and give your side a massive boost.
Fury will need no better boost than simply recalling their last trip to The Beach in December, when they came from behind to end a five-game winless run and pick up their first away triumph of the season thanks to a long-distance beauty from the impressive David Williams and a nice free kick from skipper Ufuk Talay.
However, Miron Bleiberg will perhaps blame that defeat on the fact that his squad was so ravaged by injury and suspension that he was practically pulling fans out of the stand in order to make up the numbers. United were without eight first-team regulars due to injury and suspension on that day.
Therefore, they will see the other game between the sides in this Hyundai A-League season as much more representative. In October, United came away from Townsville having won by the odd goal in three, with Dino Djulbic grabbing a late decider.
The Gold Coast go into the game knowing they really need an upturn in form to stop their season from completely unravelling. Last week, their first ever defeat to Sydney was their fourth game without a win. However, they-ll fancy their chances of getting the points against a team that are having a torrid time on and off the field.
Before their midweek trip to Newcastle, Franz Straka-s side had lost four of their previous five games and found themselves at the very foot of the ladder. Despite having won at Skilled Park once already this season, it would be quite the shock if they were to get a result on Friday.
While, in these turbulent times, next season seems a very long way off, Fury have already started looking towards it and are refining their playing staff accordingly. Last week, Eugene Sseppuya was released by the club with immediate effect. Meanwhile, United might have to do without Brazilian midfielder Robson for the rest of the season after he tore his hamstring in the loss to Sydney.
Which way will this match-up go? Will the away side win once again and secure the bragging rights, or can Gold Coast pick up the three points that will keep them well in the hunt for silverware? One thing is for sure, this is set to be a full-blooded derby clash between two rivals going all out for the win. So get a ticket to Skilled Park today and get ready to experience the drama live!