Adrian Stenta admits coming up against top-of-the-table Sydney FC provides an opportune time to see where Adelaide United is at and areas for improvement ahead of the finals series.
The Reds qualified for their maiden finals appearance after a convincing 3-0 win over Melbourne Victory last weekend.
And Stenta believed Adelaide’s clash with the Liberty A-League leading Sky Blues, at Coopers Stadium on Sunday, is another intriguing test for his side on the final round of the regular season.
The United boss felt his team is more than capable of making a deep push into the finals and potentially even win the competition.
“I’m extremely confident myself and I think the players’ confidence has been growing with every match this season,” he told AUFC Media.
“I think we’re in good form and we’re playing well at the right end of the season and I guess we’ll know sort of where we’re at because we’re coming up against the top team on Sunday.
“It’ll be a really good game to give us an indication of where we’re at heading into finals.”
On the match itself, Stenta was expecting a hard-fought contest against the most consistent outfit this year.
“We know that against Sydney it’s always a difficult game,” he said.
“They’re a side that’s been able to keep their playing squad fairly consistent and obviously coaching staff as well.
“We know what to expect from them and we know it’ll be a tough game.
“I guess it’s just one of the quirks of the draw that there’s been some teams we’ve played twice this year and we haven’t played Sydney at all until the last round of the season.
“So we’ll see how they stack up and we’re really keen to have a go at them.”
Defensively, Adelaide has also been miserly in the latter half of the campaign.
The South Australians have registered four clean sheets in their previous seven matches, something which has pleased Stenta.
“It’s something that we’ve really focused on as the year has unfolded,” he continued.
“Obviously we conceded quite a few goals early on. I thought our team defence and structure was really positive on the weekend against Victory.
“They had a fair bit of the ball so to defend as well as we did and deny them some real clear-cut scoring opportunities apart from a few set-pieces was very pleasing.”