Carl Veart will take charge of his first Adelaide United match as the permanent Head Coach against Western United on Monday night in what promises to be an intriguing contest.
The Reds will be determined to get their A-League 2020/21 season off on the right foot and continue the auspicious performances displayed under Veart’s stewardship in the hub at the end of last campaign.
However, it will be a tough contest against Mark Rudan’s side who finished in fifth spot in the regular season before losing in the semi-finals last year.
Veart has overseen somewhat of a changing of the guard during the offseason following a number of high-profile departures, coupled with some impressive reinforcements, highlighted by the additions of Tomi Juric and La Liga veteran, Javi López.
Veart on first game after long pre-season…
I’m quite relaxed actually. I’m really looking forward to seeing how our new players have adapted to our style of play and I’m just looking forward to getting that first game out the way.
Veart on importance of starting with three points…
It’s crucial, you always want to start off the season on the right foot and get the three points, especially going away from home it makes it a little bit tougher. So it’s really important we get a win and get off to a good start so when we come home the following week we generate some really good interest for our fans.
Veart on anticipating Western United to be a strong team…
We haven’t had much opportunity to look at them this season, but looking at their squad from last season there hasn’t been too many changes on that front. They had a great season last year, so we expect them to play a very similar way, very hard defensively to break down and they play that good counter-attacking football.
New signing Tomi Juric has been named in the extended squad and will feature for United for the first time since 2013, while a host of new faces are in line to make their Reds debuts. Veart confirmed new goalkeeper, James Delianov, will start Monday night’s game, while the likes of George Timotheou, Yaya Dukuly, and Joe Caletti are a chance to make their Reds debuts. Ryan Kitto (groin), Al Hassan Toure (ankle), and Yared Abetew (knee) are unavailable for selection.
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- This will be the third A-League meeting between Western United and Adelaide United; the away team on the day has won each of their previous two clashes with a total of 13 goals scored across them.
- Adelaide United will be looking to start an A-League season with a victory for the first time since the 2014/15 campaign (2-1 v Brisbane Roar), having gone winless (D4, L1) in their season-opening fixtures since then.
- Western United have won their last three A-League games on the bounce at GMHBA Stadium by an aggregate score of 12-3.
1-5 loss (H)
3-4 win (A)
Ones to watch
It is no secret, stifling Besart Berisha’s impact and starving the clever striker of service will be fundamental. The 35-year-old has made a persistent habit of scoring against Adelaide throughout his time in the competition. He has found the net 21 times which is his most against any other side in the A-League. Jordan Elsey and Michael Jakobsen will have to mark the talisman closely and cut out crosses into the box.
For the Reds, Ben Halloran will be aiming for another prolific season. The winger scored a career-best 12 goals in all competitions last campaign, and illustrated his poise and shrewdness in attack. The 28-year-old’s creativity will be crucial too from wide areas and assist Juric or whoever assumes the number nine role.
Game date: Monday, 28 December
A-League 2020/21 Matchweek 1
Kick-off: 6.35pm ACDT
Venue: GMHBA Stadium, Geelong
Referee: Shaun Evans
Broadcast: Fox Sports
Stream: Kayo Sports, MyFootball Live App