It’s first versus tenth, as top hosts bottom in the Hyundai A-League. But don’t be fooled, this intriguing clash will be much closer than the ladder suggests when the Reds visit Allianz on Saturday night.
Saturday, 26 November 2016
Sydney FC v Adelaide United
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-Off: 7:50PM (Local) (7:50PM (AEDT))
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Assistant Referee 1: Allyson Flynn
Assistant Referee 2: Anton Shchetinin
Fourth Official: Chris Beath
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.45pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport Pop-Up 2 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: ABC Grandstand Digital, online and via the app, EON Sports Radio (eonsportsradio.com)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #SYDvADL
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au
Sydney FC squad: 4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Matt JURMAN, 6.Joshua BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.BOBÔ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Bernie IBINI, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 17.David CARNEY, 18.Matt SIMON, 19.George BLACKWOOD, 20.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 21.Filip HOLOSKO, 22.Sebastian RYALL, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 31.Tomas MANOS (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC (promoted), 19.George BLACKWOOD (promoted)
Unavailable: 1.Vedran JANJETOVIC (personal leave – indefinite)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Taylor REGAN, 7.HENRIQUE, 8.ISAÍAS, 9.Sergi GUARDIOLA, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 14.George MELLS, 15.Ben WARLAND, 16.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 17.Nikola MILEUSNIC, 18.Riley McGREE, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.John HALL (gk), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Ryan KITTO, 25.James HOLLAND
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 7.HENRIQUE (returns from injury), 14.George MELLS (promoted), 15.Ben WARLAND (promoted)
Outs: 24.Jordan O’DOHERTY (suspended – 1 week)
Unavailable: 11.Sergio CIRIO (knee – 2-3 weeks), 23.Jordan ELSEY (knee – season)
Both clubs have had contrasting campaigns with Sydney FC dropping just two points – the same number Adelaide have accrued.
Despite the disparity, the bottom-placed Reds will be confident of humbling the league leaders knowing they have won four of the last six encounters between the two sides.
And with their quality, It’s a clash that’ll likely be closer than their respective table positions suggest.
In fact United have managed to keep a clean sheet on each of their last four league excursions to Allianz Stadium, outscoring the home side 9-0 across those fixtures.
Such a stat seems at odds with the free-flowing attack the Sky Blues have had this season, notching a league high 18 goals, while conceding just three.
Graham Arnold can also name an unchanged squad.
However with his side set to contest Wednesday night’s Westfield FFA Cup Final the Sky Blues boss may yet spring a selection surprise in his starting XI.
The Reds have been ravaged by injuries this season but are slowly getting troops back, with striker Henrique a welcome inclusion following a MCL strain while Sergi Guardiola has seemingly recovered enough from an injury last weekend to be named in the squad.
Though, United won’t be helped by having coach Guillermo Amor watch this one from the grandstand after his sanction last week.
• Sydney FC have won each of their last four games on home soil, the last time they won more was a six-game winning streak in early 2013 of which the fifth result was against the Reds.
• Adelaide United may be yet to register their first win of the season, but they’ve managed to score exactly one goal in every one of their seven games so far this campaign.
ROUTE TO GOAL
There’s been no stopping the Sky Blues’ juggernaut this season, as they’ve averaged more than two goals a game on their way to a six point lead at the summit.
They’ve had no shortage of contributors either, with midfielder Josh Brillante the latest to join the list of scorers with a long range beauty against the Roar in Round 7.
Sydney FC’s finishing was the only thing that was missing from a dominant display at Suncorp, something their attacking stars will be keen to atone for with places in a Cup Final on the line.
The Reds have also managed to find the back of the net in every match they’ve played this season but their failure to register multiple goals – or a clean sheet – has been their undoing.
Playmaker Marcelo Carrusca will again be key for the visitors as he continues to build match fitness after being sidelined for much of their title defence.
Striker Sergi Guardiola has also proved a real handful in recent weeks with his match-up against the experienced Sky Blues central pairing of Alex Wilkinson and Matt Jurman set to be a real highlight.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Guillermo Amor. The Reds boss was cited for unsporting conduct towards a match official following his reaction to Glory’s second goal last weekend and will serve a mandatory one match suspension on Saturday night.
FORM LINES (last five games)
Sydney FC: WWWWD
Adelaide United: LLLDL
Sydney FC 2-1 Adelaide United