Elimination Final preview: Win or go home
The anticipation is building as Adelaide United prepare to battle Brisbane Roar in Sunday afternoon’s massive Elimination Final at Moreton Daily Stadium.
The odds are stacked against the Reds who have lost all nine of their previous finals games outside of South Australia, juxtaposing the Roar’s invincible postseason home record having never lost – registering nine wins and a draw.
But records are made to be broken and Adelaide has edged Brisbane in its three preceding finals meeting with two triumphs.
United also prevailed in its most recent encounter courtesy of a 1-0 win thanks to Craig Goodwin’s emphatic finish a month ago.
Carl Veart’s troops have struggled to find consistency in the last two months of the season.
However, form goes out the window in a one-off game and with so much riding on the contest, the side that can capitalise on key moments and handle the pressure situations better will advance.
Veart on squad looking forward to Finals challenge…
As a footballer that’s what you want to do. You want to play in the big games and you work all season to get to the end of the season and play finals.
Veart on not worrying about Brisbane’s formidable home record…
It’s important that we just look after ourselves and worry about ourselves. We spoke all week to the players about the finals games – they’re different games, they’re one off games. So it’s important that we go there with the right mindset and a mindset that we’re going to go there and play an attacking brand of football and win.
Veart on Brisbane’s strengths…
Defensively they’re very strong and I think they’ve got one of the best defensive records in the league. So that’s one thing we have to be mindful of, but they also play very good counter-attacking football. That’s something we have to be mindful of, that we don’t get caught in those transition moments.
Jordan Elsey is available for selection after serving his one-match suspension, while Juande and Kusini Yengi return. Yared Abetew has been omitted from the extended squad.
Nathan Konstandopoulos and Joe Gauci remain sidelined with respective injuries.
UPDATE 3.00pm: Craig Goodwin suffered an ankle injury toward the end of the Reds final training session, ruling the winger out of the clash.
Adelaide United squad: 1.James DELIANOV (gk), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.George TIMOTHEOU, 4.Ryan STRAIN, 6.Louis D’ARRIGO, 7.Ryan KITTO, 8.Stefan MAUK (c), 9.Tomi JURIC, 18.Joe CALETTI, 21.Javi LÓPEZ, 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 23.Jordan ELSEY, 24.Pacifique NIYONGABIRE, 26.Ben HALLORAN, 27.Josh CAVALLO, 28.JUANDE, 29.Kusini YENGI 33.Dakota OCHSENHAM (gk), 35.Al Hassan TOURE
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 23.Jordan ELSEY (returns from suspension), 28.JUANDE (returns from injury), 29.Kusini YENGI (returns from injury)
Outs: 11.Craig GOODWIN (ankle), 34. Yared ABETEW (not selected)
Unavailable: 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS (knee), 46.Joe GAUCI (quadricep)
Last five meetings
1-0 win (H)
3-1 loss (A)
0-1 win (A)
2-1 loss (A)
1-0 win (H)
Key stats powered by Opta
- Adelaide United has won six of its past eight A-League games against Brisbane Roar, although its only two defeats in that stretch have come in the last two trips to Brisbane.
- Only Melbourne City (5.8) has won possession in the final third more times per game this A-League season than Adelaide United (5.7)
- Adelaide United has won only two of its previous 10 A-League matches (D4, L4).
Ones to watch
The big name players generally rise to the big occasions. The notion may have its fallacies, but it is a good rule of thumb. For Adelaide, Ben Halloran will be relied upon heavily to deliver. He indeed scored the vital goal to get the Reds into the postseason to begin with. The winger has been impressive this season, scoring four goals and providing a further five assists and his prowess is essential to the Reds’ progression.
Brisbane’s main threat could come in the shape of Dylan Wenzel-Halls. His pace is a handful for opposition defences and although his goal-scoring form has waned in the latter half of the campaign, United must keep an eye on him.
Sunday, 13 June vs Brisbane Roar
A-League 2020/21 – Elimination Final
Kick-off 2.35pm ACST
Venue: Moreton Daily Stadium
Broadcast: Fox Sports
Stream: Kayo Sports, MyFootball Live App