Tonight Adelaide United will look to get their season back on track when they host high-flying Melbourne Victory at Hindmarsh Stadium. We’ll have live commentary from 7.30pm AEDT.
With just eight games left in the regular season, competition for finals places is heating up and the form that teams take into the knockout matches could be critical.
While Adelaide United sit in fourth place, nine points clear of fifth-placed Newcastle Jets, the club is in something of a crisis following the resignation of manager John Kosmina. A strong series of results in these last weeks could shape interim coach Michael Valkanis’ future at the club.
Adelaide’s form in recent matches has dipped severely, with the Reds winning just once in their last five outings.
Last week’s 4-2 loss to the Wanderers was a performance of defensive incompetence and the result could have been even more uneven if not for another very solid showing from keeper Eugene Galekovic.
United have struggled to maintain their attacking flair from earlier in the season, with the mesmerising performance of their forwards in the last clash with the Victory seemingly a distant memory.
Fabio Ferreira and Bruce Djite will miss tonight’s clash, but in Marcelo Carrusca and Jeronimo Neumann the Reds have two game-changing players. Dario Vidosic and Iain Ramsay will also be threats.
Though defence was the clear sticking point last week, Adelaide’s chances tonight will depend on their attack- the Reds will be relying on their forwards to return to the form they were displaying early in the campaign.
Though only four points clear of United, Ange Postecoglou’s Victory are in much better form, having lost just once in their last nine games, and coming off consecutive Big Blue and Melbourne derby wins.
With more big matches coming up – third-placed Wanderers followed by the league-leading Mariners – Postecoglou has made it clear he expects his team to keep winning matches.
Though marquee player Marcos Flores’ season has not gone quite as planned, his performance in last week’s derby suggests he could be returning to the form of old just in time to face his former club.
Victory will sorely miss Mark Milligan (away with the Socceroos) in midfield – he has been outstanding for them this season.
Young Nick Ansell has also become a core part of the starting eleven but his injury last week rules him out for the next two weeks at least.
Leigh Broxham is the likely man to replace him in central defence. As always, Marco Rojas and Archie Thompson have the potential to be deadly on the counter up front.
Adelaide need to save their season, Victory want to win the Premiership – we’re in for another fiery and attack-minded game tonight. Join us from 7.30pm AEDT for commentary on all the action.