Loading...

Reds hoping to kick-start season in 2022

Adelaide United will be hoping to put behind its recent misfortunes as they enter 2022 against Wellington Phoenix at Coopers Stadium on New Year’s Day.

The Reds remain winless after its opening five games and have not played since December 17 as its match against Perth Glory was postponed due to a confirmed COVID-19 case.

Adelaide began the campaign with three draws before enduring back-to-back defeats – most recently a 1-0 loss to Western United.

Wellington’s clash with Central Coast Mariners was also postponed due to positive cases within the Mariners squad and have not played since a 2-1 setback against Sydney FC on December 19.

The ‘Nix have suffered three straight league defeats with Ufuk Talay’s side equally determined to climb the table.

Team news

Carl Veart was dealt a blow before the clash against Western with Kusini Yengi ruled out after sustaining a quad injury. The full extent was revealed later with the striker undergoing successful surgery and is expected to miss at least the next three months. Meanwhile, Nick Ansell remains unavailable for the season after rupturing his Achilles.

New signing Lachlan Barr and Yaya Dukuly have both been called up.

What the experts say

Travis Dodd: The form of both teams hasn’t been great, with Adelaide yet to have a win this season. The Phoenix have also had a slow start with just one win to their name in the opening 5 games.
Adelaide will be desperate to start the new year off in style in front of their home fans to start climbing their way back up the ladder.

Robert Cornthwaite: It’s been a struggle for both teams to start the season. Adelaide and Wellington have let themselves down inside the penalty area. In attack they’re failing to make the most of any opportunities and lapses in defence are costing them points.

One to watch

Travis Dodd: Bernardo did well off the bench against Western United and gave an attacking spark when he came on. He will need to produce that same energy whether he comes off the bench again or starts.

Robert Cornthwaite: Mo Toure. It’s his time to take the game the game by the scruff of the neck and dominate for 90 minutes.

Key battle

Travis Dodd: Ben Halloran v Ben Waine – both players have looked dangerous in attack for their respective teams. Halloran will need to continue to provide an attacking threat both in the scoring an assisting department.
Both teams have struggled to score in the opening rounds, but Adelaide can look to expose the Phoenix defence who have leaked the most goals in their opening five games.

Robert Cornthwaite: Waine v Adelaide’s centre backs. Adelaide isn’t blessed with pace at the back and Waine can be a lively customer. Adelaide are a confidence team and need a clean sheet and a win to get their season rolling.

One change you’d like to see

Robert Cornthwaite: Louis D’Arrigo back in the middle of the park. He adds energy and youth. Play with two defensive midfielders and let them screen the back four. Let Mauk and the front 4 get forward as much as possible with some solid cover.

Head-to-head

Played: 41
Wins: 19
Draws: 12
Losses: 10

Last five meetings

0-0 draw (H)
2-1 loss (A)
1-1 draw (A)
1-2 loss (H)
3-1 win (H)

Predictions

Travis Dodd: Both teams haven’t played a competitive match for a couple of weeks. Add to that the travel Phoenix will need to do, I think this will be Adelaide’s first win of the season, 2-0.

Robert Cornthwaite: 2-1 Adelaide.

Match details:
Saturday, 1 January vs Wellington Phoenix
Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22 – Matchweek 07
Kick-off 7.15pm ACDT
Venue: Coopers Stadium
Stream: Paramount+