Michael Marrone is confident that Adelaide United’s momentum will count for something heading into their Elimination Final against Melbourne City at Coopers Stadium on Sunday.
The Reds are unbeaten in their previous five matches and the experienced 32-year-old is well aware of the importance of being in good form.
Marrone was a part of the Reds side that lost just one match in their remaining 19 games on route to clinching an historic Premiership and Championship double in 2016.
“I’ve been in a finals campaign before and it really counts a lot when you’ve got momentum leading into the game,” Marrone told reporters.
“I think we’ve had that. Last game (against Brisbane Roar) we conceded a few goals which was unfortunate, but at the same time we scored five and we’re in good shape and looking forward to Sunday.”
— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) April 30, 2019
It was largely expected Adelaide’s opponents would be Wellington Phoenix in their playoff decider.
But after City’s 5-0 rout of Central Coast Mariners and the Phoenix’s 5-0 loss to Perth Glory that changed as City secured fifth spot.
Marrone said they never worried about which team they would be hosting, with United boosted by having a full squad available.
“In a one-off game I think it just matters how you approach it and what sort of form you’re in and the players available,” he said.
“We’re lucky enough to be in good form and we’ve got a lot of players available and it’s a home final, which is really important.
“We can’t control the opponent, who we were going to play in the end.
“It turned out quite strange how there were two 5-0 games, which turned us to get City.”
— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) April 29, 2019
Adelaide have failed to beat City since January 2017, and the Reds this season have recorded two draws and a loss against Warren Joyce’s men.
The pair’s most recent encounter was an entertaining 0-0 stalemate at AAMI Park. The auxiliary centre-back suggested if they can replicate their first-half performance they will have a good opportunity for success.
“Last time we played City, I thought the first-half we were excellent and we had a couple of chances to score, where we probably should’ve scored,” he said.
“And in the second-half it was a bit of a turnaround where they got on top of us but we still managed to keep it at 0-0.
“I think if we play like we did in the first-half we’re a chance.”
Adelaide United host Melbourne City in a Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Elimination Final on Sunday, 5 May at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 6.30pm ACST. Gates open 5.30pm.