Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau says stars Bruce Djite and Marcelo Carrusca are available to face Melbourne Victory on Friday night, but may not make an immediate return to the Reds’ starting XI.
Djite suffered a quadriceps injury in the 0-0 Round 5 Hyundai A-League draw at home to Sydney FC earlier this month, while Carrusca sat out the 2-0 victory away to Central Coast on Sunday due to an ankle problem.
Both men have been passed fit by medical staff, but it remains to be seen if either will start at AAMI Park on Friday.
“They will be OK and now we have to decide what role they will have tomorrow,” Gombau said.
“If I am honest, in this moment, we don’t decide yet. Today (in training) I want to try different movements and after, take a decision.”
Argentine play-maker Carrusca, having only missed one match, is the more likely member of the duo to make an immediate return to the first team, Gombau hinting that centre-forward Djite would be named among the substitutes.
With close to a full house expected in the clash between two fierce rivals, both of whom are unbeaten in Season 2014-15, the Spanish coach welcomed the challenge of playing in front of what is sure to be a hostile atmosphere.
“It’s like a final, away, in front of a big crowd,” he said.
“They have (their) 10-year anniversary. We are here to play these kind of games, with (a) full house.
“This kind of game, you have nothing to lose and a lot to win.”
While Perth Glory are top and Sydney FC remain unbeaten, Adelaide and Victory arguably have, after seven rounds of the campaign, the strongest claim to being the Hyundai A-League’s most entertaining sides.
Although Gombau would be happy to claim the tag of the competition’s best team, he knows plenty of other coaches would beg to differ.
“(That) is difficult,” he said.
“(It) depends for you what is the best football. For my understanding, for what I want – us. Because we are doing what I want. You ask another coach, who for him, the best football is to do another thing, he’ll say another team.
“In the end it’s important you play the football that you want. And you control the game. This is what we’re doing. The best football is a generic question, it’s not easy to answer.”