The Reds may be in hot form and eyeing the Hyundai A-League Premiership but Adelaide United’s Tarek Elrich wants nothing more than to end his Melbourne Victory hoodoo.
Elrich has yet to beat Victory in a Reds shirt and says toppling the champions at AAMI Park on Friday night would be “icing on the cake”.
In fact, Adelaide is winless in the last eight against Victory in the Hyundai A-League, with four defeats and four draws.
“For us with the good run we’ve had of late, it’s been a great time to be an Adelaide United player,” Elrich told reporters on Thursday.
“In saying that there’s no bigger game than this one again Melbourne. We’re going to their home and it’s never easy down there with the quality of player they boast.
“If we stick to the game plan and play with the confidence we know we can play with, I don’t see why we can’t get that hoodoo.
“Since I’ve been to Adelaide I haven’t beaten them in a competition game so hopefully we can get one over them.
“For me it would be the icing on the cake,” the Socceroos defender added.
“With the 11 games [unbeaten], if we can go to Melbourne and finally get that win over them that will make things that extra sweet and we can enjoy the weekend.”
- Elrich is available again after suspension and will come straight in a left-back, allowing Craig Goodwin to push further forward.
- Victory will be without winger Kosta Barbarouses through suspension after accumulating too many yellow cards.
- A win for the Reds could see them end the weekend just two points off top spot.
- It’s been a remarkable turnaround for Gui Amor’s side, who were last and sitting on just three points after the first eight games.
Asked why he feels Victory has had a stranglehold over Adelaide, Elrich said: “We’ve had a lot of draws and, I’m not being biased, but I feel we should have won a few of them from memory.
“Even the ones we lost we just got off to a shaky start and it’s always a tough comeback, especially when you’re away from home.
“That’s how they have beaten us when we go down there, they get those one or two early goals and we have a mountain to climb.
“We’re hurting from that, we know about the past but in the form we’re in now we go there with plenty of confidence.”
Elrich missed the win over Central Coast on Sunday through suspension but is likely to come straight back into the starting side for Friday night’s blockbuster.
“At the start of the season even though the results weren’t going our way we still stuck to the game plan we still believed in each other and know we’re reaping the rewards,” Elrich said.
“But if we do get complacent we’ll learn the hard way and it will get taken away from us very quickly.
“We can’t sit here and talk about the 11 games that went past. It’s all about the future. If we’re serious about winning some silverware. We’re in a great position to do that.”