Following its controversial loss to Perth Glory on Thursday, Adelaide United has to quickly move on in readiness for Sunday’s meeting with Brisbane Roar at Moreton Daily Stadium.
The three-day break between matches means the Reds will need to rest and recover well for its crucial clash against a Roar side that has lost its last two games.
The Reds remain in third place on 18 points, but with Perth and Melbourne Victory all on the same points, recording a triumph will be vital to keep alive aspirations of a maiden finals appearance.
Brisbane, seventh, has not won at home this season, but despite this, are generally a difficult team to play against.
Adelaide has suffered defeats in its previous two encounters against the Roar, with its most recent victory arriving in February 2019.
Adrian Stenta has another selection headache with his squad given a clean bill of health.
What the expert says
Joey Lynch: We’re getting into the business end of the season now, and once again the Reds find themselves smack bang in the middle of a dogfight for a place in the finals. With games against Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC set to end their season, maximum points against Brisbane and Wellington Phoenix in their next two games shape as a must.
It’s fair to say that Brisbane’s season hasn’t played out the way that they would have hoped and their loss to Sydney FC in their last hitout – their most straightforward of the season – has almost put paid to their hopes of playing finals. Nonetheless, with three out of their last fives games against sides outside the finals’ places, there is a small bit of hope to be found and a foe with hope can be a dangerous thing for oppositions needing to take three points.
One to watch
Joey Lynch: Having a goal disallowed for offside can mess with any striker’s sense of timing and willingness to make runs in behind; let alone a goal ruled out for an offside that remains… contentious at best. Fiona Worts will need to shrug that off and go to work against Roar.
Joey Lynch: Celebrating her 100 games in a Roar shirt on Sunday, Katrina Gorry is arguably the best midfielder in the A-League Women competition: capable of dictating the terms that games are played and scoring bangers in equal measure. The Reds will need Nanako Sasaki, Dylan Holmes, Emily Condon, and anyone else that steps into a midfield role to rise to the tall challenge that is ‘Mini’.
One changed you’d like to see
Joey Lynch: Thrown right back into a tight finals race after hammering away at Glory to no avail for 90 minutes – 28 of which were with a one-player advantage – the Reds will need to make sure they stay calm and focused on playing their own game even if early chances don’t fall against Roar and not fall into a state of panic. This ability to maintain focus could also be huge late on in the contest: no team involved in more goals or lead changes in the final ten minutes of games this season than the Queenslanders.
Last three meetings
4-2 loss (A)
3-2 loss (A)
1-0 win (H)
Joey Lynch: It’s going to be a tight one, but if the Reds are genuine in their aspirations to play finals football this is one they have to win. 2-1 to the South Australians – with some of Roar’s trademark late drama thrown in.
Sunday, 13 February vs Brisbane Roar
Liberty A-League 2021/22 – Matchweek 11
Kick-off 4.35pm ACDT
Venue: Moreton Daily Stadium
Broadcast: 10 Bold