Reds bracing for fired up Phoenix

Adelaide United FC will be required to dig deep into its reserves as they prepare to battle it out against a highly motivated Wellington Phoenix on Saturday night at Hindmarsh Stadium in the penultimate week of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 regular season.

Adelaide United FC will be required to dig deep into its reserves as they prepare to battle it out against a highly motivated Wellington Phoenix on Saturday night at Hindmarsh Stadium in the penultimate week of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 regular season.

Just three days after grinding out a point in trying conditions on the Gold Coast, the Reds are back at home for their third game in a week, faced with the challenge of overcoming a Phoenix side looking to consolidate their spot in the top six.

The short turnaround from the draw with Gold Coast United left Head Coach Rini Coolen opting to try and refresh his charges with a recovery session at the beach this morning in order to keep their slim top two chances alive.

“Normally the players need at least one more day than they have now…so it-s our job to make them as fresh as possible, and we have to be ready,” Coolen said.

Adelaide United sit three points behind the Central Coast Mariners, who have a game in hand on the Reds, but midfielder Paul Reid, who is available to play after having his red card against the Gold Cost rescinded, is not giving up on the prospect of still being able to sneak into a position that would give the Reds a double chance in the finals.

“When you-ve got the chance mathematically you-ve always got hope,” Reid said.

“Central Coast have a big game tonight against Melbourne Heart and if Melbourne can beat them (the Mariners) and we win tomorrow night, then it will put a lot of pressure on them even though they-ve got a game in hand on us.”

“So we-re still hopeful that we-re going to finish second, but I guess finishing third will be a good achievement for us.”

While Coolen may be concerned that the Reds could be leg weary, there is reason for the home side to feel confident heading into the clash. The Reds have won four of the team-s five encounters at Hindmarsh Stadium, and furthermore Wellington has won just once on their travels this season.

But this time around, the Phoenix have no shortage of motivation to reverse the trend. Wellington will be driven to try and ensure a place in the finals series, while the players will also have the added incentive of the club-s 100th Hyundai A-League appearance to spur them on.

With this in mind and the fact that the Reds also have a lot to play for, Reid knows United will need to keep its guard up and bring its best to overcome Wellington and set up a gripping finale in the final week of the competition.

“They (Wellington) are obviously vying for a top six spot and they-re going to come to Adelaide with a lot of confidence…when you-ve got it all at stake to finish in the top six, they-re going to put in a really strong performance,” Reid said.

“They-re a good team and have got a lot of good players all over the park, so we-ve got to watch ourselves. We-ve got good home form and we-ve got to continue that against Wellington.”

Coolen is still undecided on what changes, if any, he will make to the side that took the field against the Gold Coast, although he sent his clearest indication yet that new Croatian signing Dario Bodrusic could be in line to make his debut appearance as fellow defender Robert Cornthwaite battles back tightness.

“More than likely he (Bodrusic) is in the squad. He-s here to play, we couldn-t have a lot of football sessions with him, but he-s in the squad and there-s a good chance he could be in the starting eleven,” Coolen said.

The Reds ran out 3-nil victors the last time the teams met at Hindmarsh Stadium, and Coolen will be hoping history can repeat again tomorrow night.

Kick-Off is at 6.30pm (ACDT) with gates open at 5.00pm, the match to also be in support of The Martyn Crook Foundation.

Hyundai A-League 2010/11 Season – Week 26
Adelaide United FC v Wellington Phoenix

Saturday 5 February 2011, Hindmarsh Stadium
Kick-Off: 6.30pm ACDT (7.00pm AEDT)
Referee: Matthew Breeze

Tickets: Available through Ticketek (call 132 849, online at www.ticketek.com.au)
TV: Live and exclusive on FOX Sports 2
Radio: 891 Digital and online at www.abc.net.au/adelaide

Adelaide United: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 6.CASSIO, 7.Lucas PANTELIS, 8.Adam HUGHES, 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 10.Marcos FLORES, 11.Andy SLORY, 12. Paul REID, 13.Travis DODD (c), 14.Cameron WATSON, 16.Dario BODRUSIC, 17.Iain RAMSAY, 19.Mathew LECKIE, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 21.Francisco USUCAR, 22.Osama MALIK
*three to be omitted*

In: Lucas PANTELIS (promoted), Dario BODRUSIC (promoted), Osama MALIK (promoted)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Daniel MULLEN (knee – season), Joe COSTA (knee – season), Joe KEENAN (leg – season), Fabian BARBIERO (ankle – season)

Wellington Phoenix: 3.Tony LOCHHEAD, 4.Nicky WARD, 6.Tim BROWN, 9.Chris GREENACRE, 10.Oscar Roberto CORNEJO, 11.DANIEL, 12.James MUSA, 13.Troy HEARFIELD, 14.Mirjan PAVLOVIC, 15.Jade NORTH, 17.Vince LIA, 19.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 20.Reece CROWTHER (gk), 21.Marco ROJAS, 22.Andrew DURANTE, 23.Dylan MACALLISTER
*one to be omitted*

In: Mirjan PAVLOVIC (promoted); Jade NORTH (returns from international duty)
Out: Leo Bertos (injury)
Unavailable: Paul IFILL (leg – four weeks), Mark PASTON (gk, knee – season), Ben SIGMUND (Suspended – 2 weeks), Manny MUSCAT (suspended – 2 weeks)

Adelaide United vs. Wellington Phoenix – Hyundai A-League HEAD TO HEAD Record
Played 11 – 5 wins, 4 draws, 2 losses

5-Dec-2010… L 1-2… 2010/11 Wk 17 (AMI Stadium, Christchurch)
22-Oct-2010… W 3-0… 2010/11 Wk 11 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
30-Jan-2010… L 0-1… 2009/10 Rd 25 (AMI Stadium, Christchurch)
18-Dec-2009… D 1-1… 2009/10 Rd 20 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
4-Sep-2009… D 1-1… 2009/10 Rd 5 (Westpac Stadium)
18-Jan-2009… D 1-1… 2008/09 Rd 20 (Westpac Stadium)
5-Dec-2008… W 6-1… 2008/09 Rd 14 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
30-Aug-2008… W 3-0… 2008/09 Rd 3 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
30-Nov-2007… W 2-1… 2007/08 Rd 15 (Westpac Stadium)
28-Oct-2007… W 4-1… 2007/08 Rd 10 (Hindmarsh Stadium)
22-Sep-2007… D 2-2… 2007/08 Rd 5 (Westpac Stadium)

At Hindmarsh Stadium
Played 5; Adelaide United 4, Wellington Phoenix 0, Draws 1

Last time they met in the Hyundai A-League
5-Dec-2010 Week 17, Hyundai A-League 2010/11 Season at AMI Stadium
Wellington Phoenix 2 (Brown 46-, Sigmund 90+4-)
Adelaide United 1 (van Dijk 14-)

Adelaide United last three results
MW. 2-2-2011… D 0-0… vs. Gold Coast United (Skilled Park)
Wk 25. 29-1-2011… L 1-2… vs. Central Coast Mariners (Hindmarsh Stadium)
Wk 24. 21-1-2011… W 8-1… vs. North Queensland Fury (Hindmarsh Stadium)