Big names back for shot at Victory

Adelaide United FC is set to welcome back three of its highly influential players for Saturday night’s crucial clash against Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium.

Adelaide United FC is set to welcome back three of its highly influential players for Saturday night-s crucial clash against Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium.

The return of lethal marksman Sergio van Dijk, dynamic midfielder Dario Vidosic and imposing defender Nigel Boogaard could not be better timed as the Reds face their arch rivals in a match that both clubs dearly want, and more notably need, to win.

A lacklustre home defeat at the hands of the Central Coast Mariners has the pressure building on the Reds to start producing the high quality football that many predicted from the squad that Coach Rini Coolen assembled, and a massive Saturday night pressure cooker at Etihad Stadium against an equally desperate Melbourne Victory provides an ideal opportunity.

Having van Dijk, Vidosic and Boogaard available will certainly help the cause, Coolen delighted to have a range of options at the selection table.

Van Dijk comes back after missing three games with a calf injury, Coolen choosing to opt on the side of caution with last season-s leading scorer before bringing him back. Van Dijk scored the winner when the sides last met back in Week 2 and Coolen will be hoping he can again cause headaches for the Victory defence.

“Yes he-s ok, we worked with him to get him right for this game,” Coolen replied when asked if van Dijk was ready for action.

“It was too early last week but he-s got through the training sessions very well this week and he will be in the starting eleven.”

Boogaard returns after serving his one match suspension, the Reds needing him to start developing a close-knit partnership in defence with Jon McKain to sure up a United outfit that leaked four goals against the Mariners.

But undoubtedly the most surprising inclusion of the three is Vidosic. The Reds- number 10 has responded positively to treatment and rehabilitation on a back problem that appeared likely to keep him sidelined for a lengthier period.

Vidosic has trained with the main group over the past two days doing enough to convince Coolen to bring him into the squad to face Melbourne.

“We were very happy to have him (Vidosic) on the track yesterday, a little bit quicker than we thought it would be,” Coolen said.

“We thought we would have to wait until next week but he did ok yesterday and there was no negative reaction so he-s training again today, he will travel with us and be one of the 15 players in the squad tomorrow.”

Coolen is well aware the Reds are under pressure to start producing results and climb up the table. While it has not all gone to plan after the first nine weeks, the Dutchman is not being dragged down by the negatives, bit is rather excited by the chance to see his squad respond.

“We-re looking forward to playing a game against Melbourne Victory, it-s always a special game,” Coolen said.

“You don-t need to motivate players for games like this, it-s a nice challenge so let-s stay focused in a positive way and hopefully we will change our results from our last games.”

“We all know what we have to do and we-ve focused on positives in the last week and we believe in each other, we believe in this club, we believe in our supporters and we prefer not to disappoint them and it-s a great opportunity tomorrow against Melbourne Victory.”

Three points on Saturday night would give the Reds their fourth straight win over the Victory, although to do it they must overcome an Etihad hoodoo which has seen them win just once in eleven attempts.

Hyundai A-League 2011/12 Season - Week 10 Melbourne Victory v Adelaide United FC Saturday 10 December 2011, Etihad Stadium Kick-Off: 7.15pm ACDT (7.45pm AEDT) Referee: Peter Green

TV: Live and exclusive on FOX Sports 1 Radio: ABC Radio (891 ABC Adelaide, ABC SA and online) Twitter: (hash tag #HALmvau)

Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 4.Jon McKain (c), 5.Daniel Mullen, 7.Zenon Caravella, 8.Evgeniy Levchenko, 9.Sergio van Dijk, 10.Dario Vidosic, 11.Bruce Djite, 13.Ricardo Da Silva, 14.Cameron Watson, 16.Spase Dilevski, 17.Iain Ramsay, 18.Fabian Barbiero, 20.Mark Birighitti (gk), 21.Francisco Usucar, 22.Milan Susak *three to be omitted*

In: Nigel Boogaard (returns from suspension), Sergio van Dijk (returns from injury), Dario Vidosic (returns from injury) Out: Nil Unavailable: Cassio (ankle)

Melbourne Victory squad: 2.Matthew Foschini, 3.Fabio, 4.Petar Franjic, 6.Leigh Broxham, 7.Matthew Kemp, 9.Jean Carlos Solorzano, 10.Archie Thompson, 11.Marco Rojas, 13.Diogo Ferreira, 14.Billy Celeski, 15.Tom Pondeljak, 16.Carlos Hernandez, 17.Jimmy Jeggo, 18.Danny Allsopp, 19.Isaka Cernak, 20.Lawrence Thomas (GK), 21.Ante Covic (GK), 22.Harry Kewell, 23.Adrian Leijer (c) *four to be omitted*

In: Matthew Kemp (returns from injury), Matthew Foschini (returns from suspension) Out: Nil Unavailable: Tando Velaphi (stress fracture), Rodrigo Vargas (suspended)

Adelaide United vs. Melbourne Victory - Hyundai A-League HEAD TO HEAD Record Played 25 - 8 wins, 3 draws, 14 losses

14-Oct-2011… W 1-0… 2011/12 Wk 2 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 11-Feb-2011… W 2-1… 2010/11 Wk 27 (Adelaide Oval) 9-Jan-2011… W 4-1… 2010/11 Wk 22 (AAMI Park) 29-Oct-2010… L 1-2… 2010/11 Wk 12 (Etihad Stadium) 23-Jan-2010… L 0-2… 2009/10 Rd 24 (Etihad Stadium) 24-Oct-2009… L 1-3… 2009/10 Rd 12 (Etihad Stadium) 18-Sep-2009… L 0-2… 2009/10 Rd 7 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 28-Feb-2009… L 0-1… 2008/09 Grand Final (Etihad Stadium) 14-Feb-2009… L 0-4… 2008/09 Major Semi Final 2nd Leg (Etihad Stadium) 7-Feb-2009… L 0-2… 2008/09 Major Semi Final 1st Leg (Hindmarsh Stadium) 6-Jan-2009… L 0-1… 2008/09 Rd 15 (Etihad Stadium) 31-Oct-2008… L 2-3… 2008/09 Rd 10 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 12-Sep-2008… L 0-1… 2008/09 Rd 4 (Etihad Stadium) 8-Dec-2007… D 2-2… 2007/08 Rd 16 (Etihad Stadium) 12-Oct-2007… W 4-1… 2007/08 Rd 8 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 7-Sep-2007… D 1-1… 2007/08 Rd 3 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 18-Feb-2007… L 0-6… 2006/07 Grand Final (Etihad Stadium) 4-Feb-2007… L 1-2… 2006/07 Semi Final 2nd Leg (Etihad Stadium) 28-Jan-2007… D 0-0… 2006/07 Semi Final 1st Leg (Hindmarsh Stadium) 1-Dec-2006… L 1-3… 2006/07 Rd 15 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 15-Oct-2006… W 1-0… 2006/07 Rd 8 (Etihad Stadium) 25-Aug-2006… L 0-2… 2006/07 Rd 1 (Olympic Park, Melbourne) 5-Jan-2006… W 1-0… 2005/06 R 17 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 28-Oct-2005… W 1-0… 2005/06 Rd 10 (Olympic Park, Melbourne) 9-Sep-2005… W 1-0… 2005/06 Rd 3 (Hindmarsh Stadium)

At Etihad Stadium Played 11; Adelaide United 1, Melbourne Victory 9, Draws 1

Last time they met 14-Oct-2011 Week 2, Hyundai A-League 2010/11 Season at Hindmarsh Stadium Adelaide United FC 1 (van Dijk 52-) Melbourne Victory 0

Adelaide United last three results Wk 9. 2-12-11… L 0-4… vs. Central Coast Mariners (Hindmarsh Stadium) Wk 8. 25-11-2011… D 0-0… vs. Newcastle Jets (Hindmarsh Stadium) Wk 7. 19-11-2011… D 1-1… vs. Wellington Phoenix (Eden Park)