Adelaide United FC’s players know they will need to up the ante if they are to overcome the reigning Hyundai A-League champions at Hindmarsh Stadium.
Adelaide United FC-s players know they will need to up the ante if they are to overcome Brisbane Roar at Hindmarsh Stadium tomorrow afternoon as the reigning Hyundai A-League champions become increasingly desperate to make sure they are around at the business end of the season to defend their title.
The Reds are bracing for a ‘finals-type- assault from a Brisbane team that finds itself two points outside the top six but in a dog fight with a host of other teams to try and secure a vital finals spot.
Interestingly, in the next three weeks the Reds face teams that are vying to be there when it counts as they tackle Melbourne Heart and the Newcastle Jets in the fortnight following the match with the Roar.
As teams become more desperate and results become more crucial, United Coach Michael Valkanis is aware that the tension and intensity that comes with finals is sure to start early and that the Reds would need to contend with it and lift a gear.
“That-s the difficulty and a challenge we face week in week out now…there are a lot of teams obviously desperate and want to make the top six,” Valkanis said.
“We had Wellington last week who might have been on the bottom of the ladder but they had every opportunity of making the top six so they were playing a Grand Final, and you-ve got the same with the Roar this week.”
Valkanis has been pleased with the input, commitment and unity his charges demonstrated in the draw with the Phoenix last Sunday and believes they can more than match what the Roar throws at them on Saturday.
“The message to the players is we can talk about playing really good football but at the same time attitude and matching their (Brisbane-s) desperation on the park will be a big part of it because they are playing finals football and we have to turn up mentally with that attitude as well and compete against them in terms of wanting it as much as they do,” Valkanis said.
“Looking at it so far and the way the boys have gone about their training this week – they-re up for it.”
For the match, Valkanis hinted that Cameron Watson will get the nod to replace the suspended Jon McKain in the holding midfield role, while the Reds boss appears likely to retain the same back four meaning there is no room for Iain Fyfe to return from his suspension.
“Cam Watson is one that has done that role previously and this is an opportunity for him to play some good football and to organise us when we don-t have the ball as well,” Valkanis said.
“There are opportunities when we can change things up during the game in terms of playing a different way if we need to.”
After missing the trip to Wellington with a stomach virus, Argentine forward Jeronimo Neumann is expected to come back in and could possibly find himself recalled into the starting eleven.
Meanwhile, Valkanis also touched on the recovery and progress of dynamic winger Fabio Ferreira, who has missed the past 12 games with symptoms of osteitis pubis.
“Ferreira will be in the frame of things next week,” Valkanis said.
“He needs a full week under his belt. He-s been out of action for a long time and we-ll be looking that he joins in fully next week and hopefully makes himself available for next week-s game.”
The match will see Reds captain Eugene Galekovic make his 150th Hyundai A-League appearance, while Roar sharp shooter Besart Berisha is set to play his 50th.
Hyundai A-League 2012/13 Season – Week 23
ADELAIDE UNITED FC v BRISBANE ROAR
Saturday 2 March 2013, Hindmarsh Stadium
Kick-Off: 5.00pm ACDT
Referee: Shaun Evans
Tickets: Available through Ticketek (call 132849, online at www.ticketek.com.au)
TV: LIVE & Exclusive on Fox Sports 1
Radio: 891 ABC Adelaide, ABC SA, Grandstand Digital, online and on the ABC Smartphone App
Twitter: https://twitter.com/adelutd_fc (hash tag #REDSvROAR)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 6.Cassio, 8.Marcelo Carrusca, 10.Dario Vidosic, 12.Antony Golec, 14.Cameron Watson, 16.Daniel Bowles, 17.Iain Ramsay, 18.Fabian Barbiero, 20.Paul Izzo (gk), 21.Jeronimo Neumann, 23.Evan Kostopoulos, 24.Awer Mabil, 25.Tomi Juric
*one to be omitted
In: Daniel Bowles (promoted), Jeronimo Neumann (returns from stomach virus)
Out: Jon McKain (suspended – 1 match)
Unavailable: Bruce Djite (ankle – 1 week)
Brisbane Roar squad: 1.Michael Theo (gk), 3.Shane Stefanutto, 4.Matt Jurman, 5.Ivan Franjic, 7.Besart Berisha, 8.Massimo Murdocca, 9.Stef Nijland, 10.Henrique, 11.Ben Halloran, 13.Jade North, 14.Steven Lustica, 15.James Donachie, 17.Mitch Nichols, 18.Luke Brattan, 19.Jack Hingert, 20.Matt Acton (gk), 22.Thomas Broich (c), 25.George Lambadaridis.
*three to be omitted
In: Massimo Murdocca (returns from injury), Matt Jurman (promoted), George Lambadaridis (promoted)
Unavailable: Matt Smith (hip – season)
Adelaide United FC vs. Brisbane Roar – Hyundai A-League HEAD TO HEAD Record:
Played 24 – 9 wins, 8 draws, 7 losses
At Hindmarsh Stadium
Played 12; Adelaide United 4, Brisbane Roar 5, Draws 3
Last time they met in the Hyundai A-League
26-Dec-2012 Week 13, Hyundai A-League 2012/13 Season at Hindmarsh Stadium
Adelaide United FC 0
Brisbane Roar 1 (Henrique 66-)