Adelaide United will compete in their most important game of the season against Adelaide Blue Eagles in Round 18 of the PlayStation 4 National Premier Leagues at Marden Sports Complex on Saturday.
The crucial game for both Clubs could potentially go down as a relegation decider as just five games remain of the regular season, with neither side going down without a fight.
Adelaide Blue Eagles are just one point adrift of the Reds, who are 10th with 17 points.
The Young Reds were unfortunate not to take something out of their match against Para Hills Knights, as a Nathan Konstandopoulos goal was not enough in their 1-2 loss.
And despite Blake Carpenter’s gallant early lead against West Adelaide at Adelaide Shores last week, the tides turned in the hosts’ favour as United suffered another 1-2 defeat.
Although the side will be disappointed with two close games that could have led to six points, their main focus will be the task ahead.
“This is a massive game for us,” said Head Coach Huss Skenderovic.
“We’ve come a long way and played some good football but we need that killer instinct for 90 minutes.
“It’s a young team and a great learning experience but we’re coming to the business end of the season and these are the games you have to win. It won’t be easy but I’m confident if we play our game we can take on anybody and get the result. We just need to believe in ourselves and our ability.”
The Young Reds must take advantage of the inconsistent form of Blue Eagles, as they too have lost their previous few matches, including last week’s 3-1 defeat at the hands of the Knights.
The last time Adelaide United and the Azzurri met, was in Round 7 in a whirlwind of goals that saw a share of the spoils in a 3-3 draw.
United were able to take the lead against their opponents, but could not halt them as they drew level each time.
“We need to learn from the last time we played them where we had the lead three times but needed to finish them off.
“It was an open game so we just need to make sure while we like to play an expansive passing game going forward, that we are compact and responsible when defending. We’ve got the players to do it, the boys have shown their quality throughout the year but now we need to make every pass, every challenge, every opportunity count.”
The Young Reds visit Marden Sports Complex to face Adelaide Blue Eagles on Saturday 15 July. Kick-off is 3:00pm, Reserves kick-off at 1:00pm.