Vince Lia says he has fully recovered from his knee injury and is anticipating another fiery Original Rivalry when Adelaide United take on Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium on Friday night.
The Reds will be aiming to return to winning ways against their arch rivals in a venue which down the years has proven a futile hunting ground.
It is the second meeting this season after the pair played out an absorbing 2-2 draw at the Adelaide Oval in Round 3.
Last matchday, Adelaide suffered a 1-0 home loss to Sydney FC, while Victory fought back from two goals down to win 3-2 in Wellington against the Phoenix.
Lia stressed the importance of claiming the triumph in what he expects to be a spicy match.
“It’s a big game on our calendar and I know it is for them too,” he said.
“And they’re down there at the bottom end of the table and I know they want to start climbing that ladder.
“And we need to get back on track too, we lost last weekend so three points are up for grabs.
“It’s an Adelaide, Melbourne derby if you like so it’s going to be pretty spicy.”
The 32-year-old incidentally scored both goals in that encounter earlier this campaign.
“I watch it every day,” he jokingly said when asked if he will re-watch the highlights.
“Look I’ve been out for six or seven weeks so I’m just happy to be back in the squad now and if I get game time hopefully I can play well and we get the three points.”
Lia has not featured since that game, but was on the bench against the Sky Blues last weekend.
And the experienced midfielder declared he is 100% fit, but admitted the timing of the injury was extremely frustrating.
“I feel good,” he continued. “It is frustrating to score a couple of goals and then get injured in the same game and be out for so long.
“As a footballer you don’t want to miss any games so to miss six was extremely frustrating especially as I just arrived.
“But I feel good now, I had sixty minutes with the Youth Team last weekend and I’ve trained two full weeks now and I feel good.”
McDonald’s will also appear on the right sleeve of Adelaide United’s Hyundai A-League shirts for the first time on Friday night.
The three-year partnership will run until the completion of the 2019/20 season as a Platinum Partner of the Club.
Speaking on the landmark deal, Adelaide United Chairman, Greg Griffin, said: “We are very excited to be partnering with an internationally recognised company like McDonald’s.
“Over the next three seasons, McDonalds' support will continue to underpin the on-field and off-field growth of the Club.
“McDonald’s have already proven their dedication to developing football in this country and we look forward to working with them to continue to grow the game.”
Earlier in the week, Kurz confirmed Lia has fully recovered from his knee injury, while Ben Garuccio and Michael Marrone return from suspension. However, Johan Absalonsen remains a couple of weeks away. Taylor Regan is unavailable but has resumed full training this week and may receive some playing with United’s Youth Team.
Last five meetings
2-2 draw @ Adelaide Oval
2-1 loss @ AAMI Park
0-2 loss @ Coopers Stadium
1-2 loss @ Coopers Stadium
0-1 win @ AAMI Park
Adelaide United will face Melbourne Victory in Round 10 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Friday, 8 December at Etihad Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT.