Adelaide United could move into second spot on the A-League ladder with a win over Macarthur FC at Coopers Stadium on Wednesday night.
The Reds are back in action after a four-day turnaround between games and determined to capitalise on its home ground advantage.
Coopers Stadium has been a fortress for Adelaide this year and are unbeaten in its previous four home matches.
Both sides are level on points, although Carl Veart’s team has played one less game than their opponents and boast a superior goal difference.
Ten-man United played out a 1-1 draw against Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday night, while the Bulls suffered their first defeat following a three-match winning streak – falling 2-1 to Brisbane Roar.
With five points the difference between first spot and sixth place, a victory is crucial to remain in the hunt for a top-two finish.
Veart on how the team’s pulled up from Saturday…
Everyone’s very good. We had a very sharp session this morning and the boys are really looking forward to tomorrow night.
Veart on Tomi Juric’s fitness status…
He’s good. He’s had a long time off and we were being ultra-cautious with him this time round and give him time to get his body right and he’s pulled up well. He trained really well this morning and we’re looking forward to him scoring some more goals tomorrow night.
Veart on importance of win given congested table…
It was a big week for us, three games. We said at the beginning of this run that we’d like a minimum of seven points so that means we have to win these next two games. And we believe we’re good enough to do that and we want to finish in the top two because we want to win the Championship, and to win the Championship you need to be in the top two.
Veart on the Reds’ previous meeting with Macarthur…
That first game I got the tactics wrong in that game. I put my hand up to the playing group. There was nothing they could’ve done, I sent them out with the wrong tactics, so we’ve learnt from that lesson. And tomorrow night we’re really looking forward to going out and taking the game to Macarthur.
Louis D’Arrigo misses the match through suspension, but Kusini Yengi, Jonny Yull, and Yaya Dukuly have all been promoted. Meanwhile, James Delianov, Noah Smith, Nathan Konstandopoulos, Mohamed Toure, Javi López and Michael Jakobsen are all ruled out with respective injuries.
For the extended squad click here.
Key stats powered by Opta
- Adelaide United has lost only one of its last seven A-League matches at Coopers Stadium (W5, D1), despite leading at half-time on the day only twice in that span.
- Adelaide United boast the best tackle success rate (63%) of any team in the 2020/21 A-League season.
Ones to watch
Whether Al Hassan Toure starts from the first whistle or is brought on as a substitute, his impact could be key for the Reds. Having struggled with injury, Toure has been gradually building up his match fitness and was extremely impressive against the Wanderers after his half-time introduction. His trickery and ability to combine with his teammates in tight spaces creates opportunities in the final third.
Matt Derbyshire has scored 10 goals this season for the Bulls and is second in the Golden Boot race behind Jamie Maclaren. It will be important the Reds’ defence contain his movement and limit crosses into the area, given his proficiency from close range.
Wednesday, 14 April vs Macarthur FC
A-League 2020/21 – Matchweek 16
Kick-off 7.05pm ACST
Gates open 6.05pm ACST
Venue: Coopers Stadium
Broadcast: Fox Sports
Stream: Kayo Sports, MyFootball Live App