Adelaide United v Gold Coast United
Friday 26th November 7:30pm
It-s the battle of the Uniteds! Strap yourself in for another cracker at Hindmarsh Stadium, as Gold Coast come looking for more away joy.
What a game in store at Hindmarsh Stadium this Friday night, as Gold Coast United arrive with their unbeaten away record remarkably still in tact following yet another hugely impressive display on the road, this time to beat ladder rivals Central Coast Mariners.
Similarly, Adelaide United remain undefeated at Hindmarsh this season. When the unstoppable force meets the immoveable object, something-s got to give!
Fresh from a massive morale boosting 2-0 away victory against Melbourne Heart last Friday, Adelaide will now be determined to ensure that their fine home record remains in tact, and they go into the game having perhaps secured their most satisfying home win of all so far this season the last time they took to the Hindmarsh field.
While the 2-0 win over struggling Perth Glory may have seemed like a fairly straightforward result, it was actually much less easy than it sounds and also came directly after their embarrassment in Brisbane.
Glory made life very hard for The Reds. With a disjointed and physical game still scoreless after an hour, considering their recent results, it wouldn-t have been the most shocking outcome had United lacked the confidence and inspiration to shift up a gear and push on for the win.
But it is testament to their quality and self-belief that is exactly what they did. After Glory were reduced to 10 men, Adelaide grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck. This is something they spectacularly failed to do against Brisbane a few weeks back but this time, with lessons learned, they secured the points.
However, The Reds have never beaten Gold Coast United in the visitors- short history, which includes three games in Adelaide. Last season, over the three matches, the Queensland side came away with one win and two draws.
The first ever meeting ended with Adelaide losing 2-0 in front of a 12,000 strong home crowd, while it took a 93rd minute Mathew Leckie strike to snatch a 1-1 draw in the other home tie.
More recently, when the sides met in Week 10 of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season, Gold Coast came very close to inflicting Adelaide-s first defeat of their impressive campaign.
With the game heading for a 0-0 draw, Adelaide striker Sergio Van Dijk seemed to handle the ball in front of his goal in the 83rd minute. Luckily for the The Reds – who were playing the game without the creative talents of Marcos Flores and Mathew Leckie – the officials didn-t spot it and the unbeaten run remained.
Since then, of course, The Reds- undefeated series of games was brought to an end, predictably enough, by Melbourne Victory 12 games into the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season.
Following that defeat, it-s been tough going for Rini Coolen-s side. Being thumped by Brisbane really hit their title ambitions and the loss in Newcastle rubbed salt into the wounds.
Victory against Heart last Friday was so gratifying not just because it halted their poor away run, but also because it was achieved thanks to some brilliant tactics from their coach, who abandoned the usual fast-paced, go-out-and-get-‘em approach and instead instructed his players to sit back, soak up the pressure and pick them off when they got the chance. That may well be the tactic used in the away dressing room this weekend.
Red Army, you-ve already witnessed firsthand that Gold Coast United have no fear of coming to Hindmarsh Stadium. Indeed, they nearly turned your boys over last time they visited.
So, this time round you need to put in even more effort than usual to make the atmosphere as intense as possible and help your team to three points. Let-s turn Hindmarsh red and crank the noise levels to maximum. Be United in victory!