Adelaide United and Melbourne Victory cross paths for the fourth time this season, still searching for a first win when the pair meet on Saturday night at Coopers Stadium.
Here are three things to keep an eye on.
Isaías’ 200th Reds game
Remarkably, Isaías will become just the second player to enter the exclusive 200 Game Club for Adelaide United if he features against Victory. Only Eugene Galekovic with 281 appearances has more. The 35-year-old has been a model of consistency and composure as the metronome in the Reds midfield, controlling the tempo and rhythm of matches for now what is his seventh season. It will be a special occasion and one fans ought not miss and celebrate the Spaniard’s greatness we have witnessed on a weekly basis for more than half a decade when you combine his two stints.
Can Goodwin become all-time top-scorer?
Craig Goodwin remains level with Bruce Djite in the Club’s all-time top-scoring charts. It will be a case of when not if for the 30-year-old to claim the honour outright. Goodwin currently has 41 goals from 129 appearances and needs just one strike to create history. Will that transpire Saturday night in one of the biggest games in the football calendar? He has already scored two goals in two games against them this season.
It is another fascinating subplot as Adelaide has not lost back-to-back home league games against Victory since January 2017. Unfortunately, however it has happened this season across the league and cup, so the Reds will not want to suffer the same fate a third time in one campaign.
Steven Hall’s first league start
The level of performance shown from 17-year-old Steven Hall against Central Coast Mariners was simply extraordinary for a kid just playing his third senior game. It was the second time he was thrown into the action after replacing James Delianov due to a shoulder injury on New Year’s Day. Against the Mariners, he too was called upon following Joe Gauci’s dismissal.
Hall is unflappable for his age and is very good at concealing his emotions on the pitch. One could say ‘will he be up to the task from the start against a strong Victory outfit?’. But the truth is he has already exhibited that he is more than capable. He indeed started the Reds’ FFA Cup 2021 Quarter Final clash against the same opponent and also demonstrated his potential and calmness – never overawed by the intense atmosphere. It will be interesting to see how he handles the pressure. Oh wait, what pressure.