Sitting on top of the table, Adelaide United FC is aiming to build on its positive early season form by plotting Melbourne Victory’s downfall at Etihad Stadium tomorrow night.
Sitting on top of the Hyundai A-League table as the only team to have won its opening two matches, Adelaide United FC is aiming to build on its positive early season form by plotting Melbourne Victory-s downfall at Etihad Stadium tomorrow night.
As the Reds attempt to maintain their perfect start to the season, they face a Victory team that is without a win so far and will be out to prove to any critics and doubters that they are a force to be reckoned with despite last weekend-s heavy defeat to Brisbane Roar.
Reds Coach John Kosmina is refusing to take anything from Victory-s first two results and expects them to hit back hard on Friday night.
“This is a big game for Victory, a really big game, and they-re not as bad as last week-s result belies – no way in the world are they that bad a team,” Kosmina stated.
“We played them in Tasmania a couple of months ago and they looked pretty good. Ange (Postecoglou) is a good coach, they-ve got good players in their side and I know Ange-s assistant is a winner as well, so I expect a bounce back factor with Melbourne tomorrow night…they-re not going to make it easy for us at all.”
In what will be the first time Kosmina has been back to Etihad Stadium as Adelaide United-s Coach since the infamous 2006/07 Grand Final, for tomorrow night-s clash he goes in with a plethora of personnel options to choose from, wit the majority of the squad fully fit.
As such, Kosmina has opted to stick with last weekend-s goal scorer Jeronimo Neumann up front and make just one change to the starting line up with Dario Vidosic set to return after missing last Friday-s win over WSW with a hamstring injury in place of Bruce Djite.
That means Djite and Sergio van Dijk have not made the trip east, while Iain Fyfe has been brought into the travelling party as added defensive cover.
While the decision to leave both target men in Adelaide could come as a surprise to many, a measured and calculated Kosmina has a game plan in place of what he believes is the best way to break down the Victory and come back with three points.
“Things have been flowing for us and while we-ve got a bit of momentum we-ll try and keep building on that, but that doesn-t mean it-s going to stay like that all of the time – we-ve got a lot of options,” Kosmina said.
Kosmina was also quick to reiterate that Djite and van Dijk-s absence by no means meant they were out of favour, but rather that it is about what strategy is best suited for the Reds- respective opponents each week.
“It-s a 27 game season, we-ve got 25 left and I talked to the players about that yesterday. Very rarely do the same eleven take the field every week, so circumstances being what they are, the team is winning and it-s that old ‘ain-t broke, don-t fix it- mentality to a degree,” Kosmina said.
“Bruce is a professional, he-s a good pro and Serge is the same. They work hard at their game and they understand that-s football and sometimes it-s not easy, you don-t always have the outcomes that you want, but part of being a team is that sometimes you-re not going to play.”
“Football is a week to week proposition. You make your plans and we-ve got ideas about where we want to be in a month, two months and six months down the track…but football is always game by game.”
“We look at Wellington different to Melbourne, so what do we need to do next week to get a result…how can we change things, do we need to change things – these are all things you have to consider from a coaching perspective, so that they (Djite and van Dijk) are not in this week doesn-t mean they won-t be in next week.”
On the eve of the next chapter in arguably the Hyundai A-League-s biggest rivalry, Kosmina also played down the hype around Melbourne midfielder Marcos Flores- first real game against his former club after he joined the Victory in the off season.
“It-s not about Marcos Flores, it-s about Adelaide United versus Melbourne Victory…it-s about us and what we do,” Kosmina said.
“If you worry too much about your old mate, or your ex team mate in the opposition then you-re probably not focussed on what you need to do for your team.”
The Reds are undefeated in their past five games against the Victory.
Hyundai A-League 2012/13 Season – Week 3
MELBOURNE VICTORY v ADELAIDE UNITED FC
Friday 19 October 2012, Etihad Stadium
Kick-Off: 7.30pm AEDT (7.00pm ACDT)
Referee: Peter Green
Adelaide United Squad: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 5.Iain Fyfe, 6.Cassio, 8.Marcelo Carrusca, 10.Dario Vidosic, 12.Antony Golec, 14.Cameron Watson, 16.Daniel Bowles, 17.Iain Ramsay, 19.Jake Barker-Daish, 21.Jeronimo Neumann, 22.Fabio Ferreira, 30.John Hall (gk)
Ins: Iain Fyfe (promoted), Dario Vidosic (returns from injury)
Outs: Bruce Djite (omitted), Evan Kostopoulos (omitted)
Unavailable: Zenon Caravella (hip flexor – 2 weeks), Jon McKain (leg – 3 weeks), Paul Izzo (gk) (international duty)
Melbourne Victory Squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 2.Matthew FOSCHINI, 3.Adama TRAORE, 4.Petar FRANJIC, 5.Mark MILLIGAN, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Jonathan BRU, 9.Marcos FLORES, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 11.Marco ROJAS, 13.Diogo FERREIRA, 14.Billy CELESKI, 15.Sam GALLAGHER, 16.Theo MARKELIS, 17.Jimmy JEGGO, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 23.Adrian LEIJER (c)
*three to be omitted*
Ins: Archie Thompson, Mark Milligan, Marco Rojas (all return from national team duty)
Outs: Danny Allsopp, Spase Dilevski, Andrew Nabbout (all injured)