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Reds determined to extend unbeaten run to six matches

Following its great escape in Newcastle, Adelaide United entertain Sydney FC at Coopers Stadium in the second match of a double header on Friday night.

The Reds blistering smash and grab finish will serve as a confidence booster that despite being far from their best they managed to snatch victory.

However, they cannot afford to play like that every week especially against a resilient Sky Blues outfit with huge experience, irrespective of its absentees.

The Harbour City team ended a three-match winless run with a 3-2 comeback win over Central Coast Mariners to sit sixth.

Carl Veart labelled the performance against the Jets as his side worst display of the season and they will need to be vastly superior to prolong its winning and unbeaten streak to three and six games respectively, while consolidating third place.

Adelaide will have to overcome the odds though, having registered just one league win over Sydney since April 2016 or 16 matches. That triumph arrived last year in March.

Team news

Isaías returns from suspension in a welcomed boost. However, Jacob Tratt is out after the accumulation of five yellow cards, meaning Lachlan Barr could be in line for his starting debut.

What the experts say

Robert Cornthwaite: Adelaide are on a nice little run at the moment and picking up important wins while they are getting the advantage of playing regularly.

Sydney have been up and down this season and don’t look like the title contenders we’ve come to expect, but the last two games they’ve shown some real fight. A draw against City and a win against CCM shows they’re not ready to fade off into the sunset just yet.

One to watch

Robert Cornthwaite: Hiroshi Ibusuki has looked great so far. He gives Adelaide a focal point and two goals in three games off the bench is an excellent return. Looks ready to start this game.

Key battle

Robert Cornthwaite: Craig Goodwin v Ryan Grant.
Both have been away on national team duty and will arrive in time to start this match. Grant didn’t see any action (he should have) and Goodwin should have plenty of confidence. Both National team players could decide the game.

One change you’d like to see

Robert Cornthwaite: As mentioned Ibusuki has to start. He’s had a few games to build up match minutes so far and looks ready to have an impact from the starting whistle. The wide men need to make sure they get some quality into the box for him to feed off.

Head-to-head

Played: 52
Wins: 18
Draws: 11
Losses: 23

Last five meetings

2-1 loss (A)
1-4 loss (H)
2-2 draw (A)
1-0 win (H)
1-1 draw (H)

Predictions

Robert Cornthwaite: Adelaide 2-1 Goodwin and Ibusuki to grab a goal each.

Match details:
Friday, 4 February vs Sydney FC
Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 – Matchweek 13
Kick-off 7.15pm ACDT
Venue: Coopers Stadium
Stream: Paramount+