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Apr 23, 2022   |  1:21PM AET

Reds targeting third straight win

Reds targeting third straight win

Adelaide United host Perth Glory in the first of three home matches to conclude the regular season when the two teams meet at Coopers Stadium on Sunday.

The Reds have enjoyed an 11-day break between matches, providing an opportunity for the squad to recuperate following a busy few months.

Time will tell if the prolonged hiatus will impact United’s sharpness, but they will be motivated to string together a third consecutive victory against a Perth outfit that has struggled this campaign and sit bottom of the table.

The Glory have been decimated by injuries and are winless in its previous 14 matches, and come into the match off the back of five successive defeats.

United endured a miniature slump not that long ago but after 1-0 and 3-2 triumphs over Macarthur FC and Sydney FC respectively, United is in a good position to push for a top-four finish with favourable results.

Team news

Carl Veart confirmed Jacob Tratt is back and available for selection. However, Michael Jakobsen and Kusini Yengi are likely still a week away from returning. Mohamed Toure remains ruled out after suffering a dislocated shoulder.

What the experts say

Gyawe Jonas Salley: It hasn’t been a perfect start for Perth Glory’s interim head coach Ruben Zadkovich, In the last 5 games, his team has conceded a whopping 18 goals and scored 3 goals. With no finals for them, Perth Glory will be playing for pride so it is one of those games, where Adelaide United must stay focused until the last whistle. Carl Veart’s men after winning back to back games, surely would not allow any complacent mindset going to this game.

Campbell Johnson: Obviously Perth have been in such torrid form, that’s no secret. They’ve been led by former Socceroo, Ruben Zadkovic following the sacking of Richard Garcia last month. They’ve lost five games on the trot and are yet to get a win under their new manager. Their last win coming against another struggler in the Brisbane Roar all the way back in February.

On the contrary, Carl Veart’s men have had an outstanding season, especially at Coopers Stadium and particularly late on in games, Veart time is becoming a regular occurrence at Hindmarsh. We saw it last week against Sydney with heroics coming from George Blackwood and Craig Goodwin. The Reds are coming off two strong wins and will be looking to make it three this weekend.

However, Perth Glory have won their last three A-League Men matches against Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium, conceding just a single goal across that span.

Niav Owens: The battle for a spot in the ALM finals is hotting up, so up against a Perth side that is propping up the table, the Reds will be very keen to bank 3 points and try to cement that spot in the top 4.

One to watch

Gyawe Jonas Salley: Lachlan Brook has been phenomenal for the Reds, he’s full of confidence and keeps creating some issues for the opposition defence.

Campbell Johnson: It will sound boring but you can’t look past the main man, Craig Goodwin. Scoring two goals and assisting another, it can’t be anyone else. Alternatively, Japanese import Hiroshi Ibusuki could play a key part, scoring and assisting in the reds last game against Perth.

Niav Owens: Craig Goodwin could well add ‘Johnny Warren Medalist’ to his list of accolades this season, and after doing the business against the Sky Blues last start, he remains key to the Reds going forward.

Key battle

Gyawe Jonas Salley: It will be interesting to see how Hiroshi Ibusuki goes against Darryl Lachman especially if the Japanese striker can hold the ball up front and then bring his teammates into play. The second battle that I’m looking forward to witnessing will be the upcoming centre-backs (Lachlan Barr and Alexandar Popović) against the veterans (Bruno Fornaroli or Andy Keogh) if they are available.

Campbell Johnson: It’s slim pickings of standouts for the Glory this year but a player who has caught my eye is the youngster, Daniel Stynes. He is only behind Bruno Fornaroli in Perth’s goalscoring charts and leads the side in Big chances created. The Reds backline, particularly the right side of defence where he likes to operate, will have to stay alert to keep him at bay this weekend.

Niav Owens: Daniel Sturridge will be out to prove his fitness for this game and could well play 30 minutes off the bench. He has more than a point or two to prove, with a multitude of detractors, and time running out to make any kind of statement in the ALM.

One change you’d like to see

Gyawe Jonas Salley: Josh Cavallo has been fantastic going forward, adding himself in the final 3rd to create a superior numeric on the wing but he has been struggling defensively with balls in behind from the opposition. I expect Carl Veart to rectify it.

Campbell Johnson: I’d like to see George Blackwood enter the fray a little earlier this week to make his mark after returning to the matchday squad last week against Sydney, coming on to level things late before Craig Goodwin snagged the winner at the death.

Head-to-head

Played: 50
Wins: 20
Draws: 12
Losses: 18

Last three meetings

1-2 win (A)
1-1 draw (A)
2-1 loss (A)
1-2 loss (H)
5-3 loss (A)

Prediction

Gyawe Jonas Salley: I highly think that Adelaide United will gain a victory 3-1. 

Campbell Johnson: Well, Perth have conceded 18 goals in their last five games so I don’t think it’s too bold to predict that the Reds will be able to deal with Perth at home. I’m predicting a 4-0 home win on Anzac Day weekend for the Reds.

Niav Owens: Three home games on the trot is an awesome way to build into the finals for the Reds! Momentum means so much in football and the home side should notch up their third win in a row when they take on Perth on Sunday.

Match details:
Sunday, 24 April vs Perth Glory
Isuzu UTE A-League 2021/22
Kick-off 4.35pm ACST
Gates open 2pm for 2.15pm kick-off for AUFC Legends vs ADF friendly
Enter via Gate 4 for curtain raiser
Venue: Coopers Stadium
Stream: Paramount+