Having dominated this fixture for so long, Victory must wish they could go back to the period when they won nine games in a row against Adelaide.
Date: Friday 19 October, 2012 Kick-off: 7.30pm AEDT Venue: Etihad Stadium
Head-to-head Played: 31 Wins: Melbourne Victory 14, Adelaide 10 Draws: 7
Previous encounter Melbourne Victory 1, Adelaide 1, 13 January 2012
Form: Past five matches: Melbourne Victory: LLLWL Adelaide: WWDLD
The Game Ange Postecoglou's start as Melbourne Victory head coach has been a painful one. A 2-1 derby loss to Melbourne Heart, followed by last week's embarrassing 5-0 thrashing by Brisbane has left Victory bottom of the ladder with zero points and -6 goal difference.
League-leaders Adelaide, however, look well set-up to inflict further damage on Postecoglou's team. While United will allow Victory the majority of possession, head coach John Kosmina has put together a dangerous counter-attacking outfit with imports Jeronimo Neumann and Fabio Ferreira adding some extra class for the Reds.
Postecoglou will be keen to bring Archie Thompson, Mark Milligan and Marco Rojas straight back into his starting line-up after the trio were on international duty last weekend. While Kosmina may have to replace central defender Nigel Boogaard, who injured his ankle in training this week but otherwise should have a full squad with Dario Vidosic, Sergio van Dijk and Zenon Caravella having recovered from injury.
The big issue Melbourne Victory: Despite his team's bad start, Postecoglou is not about to abandon his philosophy of playing the ball out of defence. The verdict is still out on whether Victory's goalkeeper, defenders and defensive midfielders can adapt to Postecoglou's tactics fast enough to avoid a completely disastrous start to the season.
Adealdie United: Since taking over midway through last season, Kosmina has generally preferred Bruce Djite up front to Dutch marksman Sergio van Dijk.
Djite has not scored in seven games for Adelaide since an AFC Champions League match in April. Kosmina clearly rates the bustling 25-year-old but as the centre forward in the Reds' line-up, the question is how long he can persist with Djite while his scoring drought continues?
Gamebreaker Iain Ramsay has scored three in four games for Adelaide and could be a real threat at Etihad Stadium. Victory's Matthew Foschini has been one who has most struggled with Postecoglou's edict to keep the ball on the ground and Ramsay's constant pressure could force some mistakes from the right full-back.
Prediction: Melbourne Victory 1-2 Adelaide United Having dominated this fixture for so long, Victory must wish they could go back to the period when they won nine games in a row against Adelaide. Since then, however, the Reds have won three on the trot, followed by two draws and should go into this game with plenty of confidence.
While it is hard to imagine that the home team will fail to score for a second game in a row, their positive, attack-minded strategy has left gaps in defence in the opening two rounds and Kosmina's forwards will make Victory pay if given the opportunity.
Neumann has been a great find for Adelaide since joining from Argentine club Independiente Rivadavia, while former Chelsea youth player Fabio Ferreira was judged man-of-the-match after his performance on the wing against Western Sydney.