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Reds looking to make history

Adelaide United can create history in the Pride Game at Coopers Stadium on Saturday with a win over Melbourne Victory.

The Reds are on the brink of accomplishing a maiden top-four finish, something that has proved elusive since the Liberty A-League’s inception in 2008, as they return from a three-game road trip.

With two matches left in the regular season and sitting three points clear of fifth-placed Perth Glory, destiny remains in Adelaide’s hands.

The opportunity to play finals football is a real possibility for the first time after falling agonisingly short last season.

But a tough test awaits them in the form of Victory, who beat United 5-1 in the opening round of the campaign.

However, that was a long time ago and the Reds, statistically enjoying their most successful season, are in rampant form after scoring a combined 12 goals in back-to-back away wins.

A triumph will see Adelaide guarantee third spot as a minimum, as they lead fourth-ranked Melbourne by one point after the Victorians dropped points in its previous two matches – most recently a comeback 2-2 draw against Canberra United.

Team news

Paige Hayward remains unavailable with a knee injury, while Emily Condon has also been ruled out with a hamstring injury.

What the expert says

Grace Gill: The three points in this match-up have never been more important. Both teams are looking to climb their way as close to the top of the table and secure their position in the final four. Victory have had a couple of minor stumbles in recent weeks while Adelaide are setting themselves up for the best finish they’ve seen in the A-League Women’s competition.

One to watch

Grace Gill: It would be remiss to look past Fiona Worts given her current form.

Key battle

Grace Gill: The newly formed defensive Victory partnership of Tiff Eliadis and Brooke Hendrix will have their hands full with in form strikers Fiona Worts and Chelsie Dawber. This will be an exciting showdown in what should be a packed Coopers Stadium.

Head-to-head

Played: 21
Wins: 4
Draws: 2
Losses: 15

Last three meetings

5-1 loss (A)
0-1 loss (H)
0-3 loss (H)

Prediction

Grace Gill: A home match at Coopers Stadium bodes very well for Adelaide. This is going to be a tall ask for the traveling Victory squad but don’t underestimate them – they’ve demonstrated their grit a couple of times already this season.

Match details:
Saturday, 26 February vs Melbourne Victory
Liberty A-League 2021/22 – Matchweek 13
Kick-off 4.20pm AC
Venue: Coopers Stadium
Stream: Paramount+