The equation is a simple one in theory for Adelaide United heading into the final round of the Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 regular season.
Win and fourth spot is secured and with it a home elimination final. Indeed, that is a lot more difficult to achieve in practice.
Lose, however and there is a real possibility of dropping to sixth and playing a do-or-die clash on the road if Central Coast Mariners and Wellington Phoenix win their respective matches.
The Reds have been in solid form of late though, winning four straight games and have kept clean sheets in three of those fixtures.
But Western pose an entirely different challenge against a well-disciplined side that is also fighting for the minor premiership.
John Aloisi’s side are winless in its previous two matches, but remain a dangerous outfit that is hard to break down.
An intriguing contest awaits at Coopers Stadium, and one that could define how Adelaide fare in the finals.
Carl Veart confirmed Michael Jakobsen and Kusini Yengi are available for selection, while goalkeeper James Delianov is also back training following a shoulder injury. Mohamed Toure and Nick Ansell remain the only players ruled out on the long-term injury list.
What the expert says
Robert Cornthwaite: Team has done extremely well so far this season and to get a home final would be an unbelievable achievement. It’s been a tough year for everyone so the players, staff and fans should be very proud.
One to watch
Robert Cornthwaite: Goodwin. Goodwin. Goodwin.
Robert Cornthwaite: Adelaide’s lines have been balanced this last 6 weeks. Defence, midfield and forwards all playing their part. Getting past Western United’s defence is always a challenge. Hiroshi Ibusuki won’t get as much joy in the air as last week against Leo Lacroix.
One change you’d like to see
Robert Cornthwaite: Don’t fix what isn’t broken.
Last five meetings
1-0 loss (A)
0-0 draw (H)
0-0 draw (A)
1-5 loss (H)
3-4 win (A)
Robert Cornthwaite: Adelaide United 2-1 Western United.
Sunday, 8 May vs Western United
Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22
Kick-off 5.50pm ACST
Gates open 4.50pm ACST
Venue: Coopers Stadium