Adelaide United will be hoping to continue their resurgent form against premiers Sydney FC at ANZ Stadium on Thursday night.
The Reds remain unbeaten under interim Head Coach, Carl Veart, most recently dispatching Perth Glory 5-3 in an entertaining contest.
But they will face their toughest test to date since the restart, despite Sydney coming into the clash on a two-game losing streak following a 2-0 setback against Melbourne City.
The ladder leaders have not lost three in succession since November 2013 and will be desperate to find their swagger ahead of the finals series.
For Adelaide, however, aside from the FFA Cup 2018 Final triumph, United have not beaten the Sky Blues since a 2-0 away win in April 2016, a run of eleven league matches.
Veart warned his Reds will need to deliver a committed performance against a team that has countless strengths.
“They’re top of the table and they’re eight points clear,” he told reporters via Zoom in the pre-match press conference.
“I know they’re going through a little bit of a slump at the moment, but you don’t go eight points clear unless you’re a very good side.
“It’s going to be a challenging game, they’ve got some fantastic players that if we give them too much space and time they’ll cause some trouble.
“So it’s important that we stay disciplined and keep playing the brand of football that we’ve played the last three games.”
— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) August 5, 2020
Veart is expecting to see an improved defensive display after conceding three goals against the Glory.
“The goals that we did concede we just switched off at crucial times,” he explained.
“And it’s just a matter of keeping our focus and if someone has switched off it’s a team thing to make sure we’re all on the same page and fighting for each other.”
Veart confirmed his entire squad in the hub have a clean bill of health following the return of Al Hassan Toure from a hamstring injury, who will begin proceedings on the bench. The 50-year-old went on to reveal he will name an unchanged line-up for the match.
Reds striker, Kristian Opseth, has been in superb form post lockdown, scoring a goal in each of the three games while registering two assists against Perth.
“We’ve always known Kristian is an excellent player, that’s why we brought him to the Club,” Veart continued.
“And I suppose we’re using him a little bit different to how we used him before the break.
“He’s taken to it, he enjoys the way that we’re playing and we’re playing to his strengths.”
Adelaide United host Sydney FC in the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season on Thursday, 6 August at ANZ Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACST. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and the MyFootball Live App.