Adelaide United travel to Gosford for the third time this season hoping to continue their stellar record against Central Coast Mariners on Sunday.
The Reds return to action following a second bye with Head Coach, Gertjan Verbeek, wanting to see improvement from the last encounter against Central Coast in mid-November.
Adelaide are unbeaten in their previous eight matches against the Mariners and have also won their past six league games at Central Coast Stadium; the venue certainly proving to be a happy hunting ground of late.
After conceding an early penalty against the Mariners back in that Round 6 meeting, the Reds demonstrated some of their best football of the season, scoring three world-class goals before half-time to register a convincing 3-1 triumph.
“I think some things we did very well in that game,” Verbeek told reporters at Adelaide Airport.
“Still there were some improvements to make. It was an open game and we were the lucky ones because we scored in the right moments.
“So we tried to learn from that game and do it better than even the last time we played against them – even though we won 3-1 – the way we played gives me confidence.”
— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) December 19, 2019
But they will have their work cut out with the Reds missing several players due to respective injuries.
The Dutchman disclosed that goalkeeper, Paul Izzo, will not be available having pulled up lame during this week’s training.
“This week in training he (Paul Izzo) stepped out with an adductor (complaint),” he said.
“We had a day off and he trained on that day off to try and get fit for the Friday training, but it wasn’t successful and he said, ‘I can’t make it, I can’t train’.
“And if you don’t train for the game then you’re not playing.”
Verbeek also confirmed George Blackwood did not travel after sustaining a calf injury during the week, while Kristian Opseth remains on the sidelines with an adductor complaint.
He also provided an update on Riley McGree’s fitness status, revealing he is not too far away from returning to full training.
However, he stressed that does not want to rush the midfielder back and risk exacerbating the issue.
“For Riley it’s better to wait one day longer than start too early because then you’re several months away because it’s a knee,” he explained.
“Maybe if we were in a hurry he could’ve played today, but for the knee it’s better to see how he is next week at the beginning of the week and train the whole week with the team and then we’re sure he’s ready for the next game.”
Adelaide United face Central Coast Mariners in Round 11 of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season on Sunday, 22 December at Central Coast Stadium. Kick-off is at 5.30pm ACDT. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and the My Football Live App.