Reds coach Verbeek calls Victory’s season ‘disappointing’
Adelaide United boss Gertjan Verbeek has stoked the flames of the Original Rivalry by calling Melbourne Victory’s campaign ‘disappointing.’
The fifth-placed Reds travel to Marvel Stadium on Saturday having won their last four meetings against Victory, and with a 10-point, and four-place, advantage in the Hyundai A-League ladder.
“I think until now Victory has played a disappointing competition,” Verbeek said.
“They still have nine games to go, like us,” he added.
“In nine games you can get 27 points so they can still look up and try to qualify for the playoff – but they have to start to win games.
“You have to start once, and the next opponent is Adelaide United. The only thing they can do is try to win and beat us, but again that’s the same that we want.”
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Reds attacker Ben Halloran has been ruled out of the clash against the old enemy but the away side welcome back former Victory Championship-winner James Troisi on his old stomping ground.
Verbeek admits he has a late decision to make about whether Adelaide's star midfielder plays from the start after recovering from a hamstring strain.
“James [Troisi] is a good player so normally when he’s not injured, he will play,” Verbeek admitted.
“Now that he’s been gone for more than four weeks and before that he had another injury. He came back for one game.
“Of course a player of his quality, you need these players. But the team has done also well without him so I have to think what’s the best for the team.”
Adelaide have racked up their longest ever winning streak in the history of the Original Rivalry over their past four encounters with Victory, and most recently beat them 1-0 in Round 15.
The Reds have blown hot and cold in 2019/20, winning nine and losing nine in the Hyundai A-League, and they were turned over 5-2 by Western Sydney Wanderers last week.
Although they showed defensive frailties in the drubbing by Wanderers, Victory coach Carlos Salvachua believes he knows exactly which Reds will show up at Marvel Stadium.
“I don’t know what’s happening [to Adelaide] but against Victory they are always a different team,” said Salvachua.
“In the last two years, that’s my experience... For them, they will be totally different from last week against Western Sydney.”
Melbourne Victory v Adelaide United
Saturday, 29 February 2020
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEDT
Venue: Marvel Stadium