There’ll be a new grand final winner crowned on Sunday. Adelaide and Wanderers have been the bridesmaids each twice in their respective histories so at Adelaide Oval we’ll witness history either way.
So, who’ll win?
Well, this is football and anything can happen – as we saw on Sunday.
But that said, here are five reasons why you’d think the Reds can break their grand final hoodoo and bring the Championship home to South Australia for the first time.
Wanderers’ astonishing semi final win in extra time over Roar on Sunday meant not only do the red and black have two days less rest than United, but Tony Popovic’s men have played an extra 30 minutes of mentally and physically draining knockout finals football. At the end of the season no matter how fit you are, it’s a consideration. Should the grand final goes into extra time that be a key consideration at Adelaide Oval.
Wanderers will need to reverse history if they are to beat the Reds. The home side – with all the advantages that brings – usually win. Out of ten previous grand finals, an away team has only won once outside their home state – that was Sydney FC in 2010 in Victoria.
‘Defence wins you championships’ they say and in the Reds we see the most formidable defence in the league, conceding a league low 28 (five fewer than Topor-Stanley and Co.). And as Goal.com editor Michael Huguenin pointed out in his analysis, Gui Amor would be quietly confident his side could hurt Wanderers after they conceded four times on Sunday when at times their defending was poor.
With a 50,000 venue even if the Wanderers bring their customary hordes (estimated at around 10,000) they’ll still be outnumbered around four to one by the home supporters who have the chance to truly become the 12th man and help the Reds over the line when it matters most at Adelaide Oval. The roar of the crowd really does lift tired players.
It’s been ten years since the first Hyundai A-League grand final. And over that time the Reds have played second fiddle on the big day with a damming 6-0 loss in 2007 their grand final nadir. Yes, Wanderers have lost twice too in their short history but for the Reds their destiny has been longer in the making.