The Sky Blues’ season is hanging by a thread while the Reds have designs on a top-two finish. Who will want it more in a clash where every goal could be crucial come season’s end?
Saturday, 2 April 2016
Sydney FC v Adelaide United
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-Off: 7:30 PM (Local) (7:30 PM AEDT)
Referee: Peter Green
Assistant Referee 1: Allyson Flynn
Assistant Referee 2: Owen Goldrick
Fourth Official: Stephen Lucas
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport Pop-Up (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live.
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #SYDvADL
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets
Sydney FC squad: 1.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 2.Seb RYALL, 4.Zac ANDERSON, 5.Matt JURMAN, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 17.David CARNEY, 18.Matt SIMON, 19.Jacques FATY, 20.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 21.Filip HOLOSKO, 22.Ali ABBAS, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 24.George BLACKWOOD, 27.Mickael TAVARES
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 9.Shane SMELTZ (return from groin injury), 19.Jacques FATY (return from illness)
Unavailable: 14.Alex BROSQUE (hamstring – indefinite)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 6.Stefan MAUK, 7.PABLO SANCHEZ, 8.ISAIAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE, 12.Mark OCHIENG, 14.George MELLS, 15.Ben WARLAND, 16.Craig GOODWIN, 17.Mate DUGANDZIC, 20.John HALL (gk), 23.Jordan ELSEY, 24.Bruce KAMAU
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 12.Mark OCHIENG (promoted), 15.Ben WARLAND (promoted)
Unavailable: 19.Eli BABALJ (knee – season), 21.Tarek ELRICH (groin – 2 weeks)
Sydney FC will know when they walk onto the pitch on Saturday night if their finals aspirations are officially over.
They’re currently only a mathematical chance of scraping into the six but those hopes will be dashed if Victory take anything from their trip to Wellington.
It won’t stop Graham Arnold’s side preparing like they’ve still got everything to play for and the way this season has turned out it wouldn’t surprise to see one more twist in the tale.
This will be Adelaide’s first excursion to Allianz Stadium this season as the Reds look to stretch their unbeaten road record to nine matches.
The South Australian outfit are just a point behind City (whom they face in the final round) and Brisbane and still a real chance of claiming the Premiership.
While they’d love to put themselves in the reckoning for a home semi-final, Guillermo Amor’s side certainly hold no fear playing away from Coopers.
If Adelaide are able to shutout the Sky Blues they’ll become the first team in Hyundai A-League history to keep four consecutive clean sheets in away matches.
The spoils were shared the last time these sides met but a point is no good to either side this time. So expect both teams to go for it – and plenty of goals.
OPTA DATA KEY STATS
– Sydney FC will be looking to snap a four game winless streak at home in which they’ve not managed to score more than a single goal in a match.
– Adelaide United are undefeated in their last eight games away from home (W5, D3) and are undefeated in New South Wales this season.
– Sydney have hit the woodwork 14 times this season, with Adelaide the only side to hit the frame of the goal more often (15).
ROUTE TO GOAL
Two positives they’ll have taken away from last week’s loss in Brisbane was marquee Filip Holosko banking his first brace in Sky Blue and Milos Ninkovic making a successful return from injury.
They’ll need both to be on-song plus they will be further boosted by the addition of returning pair Shane Smeltz and Jacques Faty.
The Reds welcomed back Marcelo Carrusca and Pablo Sanchez from injury last weekend, with the latter becoming the Reds’ leading scorer for the campaign courtesy of a second-half penalty.
Adelaide had four different scorers in their 4-2 win over the Mariners last week, which continues their season trend of sharing the goals around.
Reds attacking midfielder Sergio Cirio wasn’t one of them and has been quiet on the score sheet of late so would no doubt love to replicate the double he scored when these sides last met back in Round 18.
With goal difference potentially critical to where both sides finish on the ladder expect this to be an end-to-end affair.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Shane Smeltz. The Sky Blues striker returns from injury this weekend and needs just one goal to join Archie Thompson as the Hyundai A-League’s highest ever scorer on 90 goals.
Sydney FC: DLLDL
Adelaide United: WWLDW
Sydney FC 1-2 Adelaide United