Weekly Warm Up: Sydney FC v Adelaide United

Can Christmas come early for The Cove or will Adelaide United be party-poopers? Grab a ticket and find out.

Sydney FC v Adelaide United Thursday 22nd December, 7.30pm

Can Christmas come early for The Cove or will Adelaide United be party-poopers? Grab a ticket and find out.

While the hoards fight their way around packed shopping malls in a bid to finish their Christmas shopping, there is only one place that the city's football lovers will be heading on Thursday evening - Sydney Football Stadium!

So, if you want an escape from the festive insanity, then spend 90 minutes focusing on what really matters - the beautiful game!

The Sky Blues will look back to their match-up with Thursday's opponents in Week Three as the moment their season burst into life.

Having gained one point from a possible six from their first two games, things looked bleak. Then, at 1-0 down at half-time to Adelaide, and having not scored a goal in either of their previous matches, it looked like being another miserable night for Sydney, but second-half strikes from Jamie Coyne and Nicky Carle gave them a hugely impressive come-from-behind victory.

You would surely have forgiven Vitezslav Lavicka's men for dropping their heads when going a goal down but they kept on keeping on and, after Coyne's powerful strike, pushed on for the win, which came about through Carle's neat angled-finish.

Since then, they have hardly looked back and sit in a good position on the ladder - certainly better than where they were this time a year ago, anyway!

United, meanwhile, would probably take a repeat of their previous away trip, when they secured a 1-1 draw against Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium. After falling behind to Archie Thompson's header, the Reds struck through Fabian Barbiero's left-footed blast with just a few minutes remaining on the clock. Twixt the two goals was some solid and brave defending to keep Adelaide in the game. A repeat of such resilience will serve them well on Thursday, as Sydney Football Stadium is a tricky place to come when The Cove is in full voice.

The two sides are pretty evenly balanced in terms of previous results against each other, with Sydney just ahead of their Southern Australian counterparts by ten wins to nine.

Of the eleven games they have played in New South Wales, Sydney have triumphed seven times. However, United have found rich pickings from their most recent trips to Sydney Football Stadium. In the 2010/11 season, they gained maximum points from their two visits.

A comprehensive 3-1 win last September was followed by late drama a month later, with The Reds turning round a half-time deficit to win the game with an injury-time winner from Iain Ramsey.

With Sydney FC's Hyundai A-League 2011/12 season proving to be far more promising than what they offered up last time round, they will be looking to avoid suffering home defeats similar to those that came about against Adelaide last year.

So, Cove, get behind your players and make it a happy Christmas in Sydney. Ready your singing voices and make plenty of noise. Three-points will be the best possible Christmas present, and you can help make it happen with your epic support from the stands!