Hyundai A-League 2019/20 Round 7 Preview – #ADLvMVC
Gertjan Verbeek insists Melbourne Victory is a better team than the table suggests and is fully aware of what this fixture means for Reds supporters.
Adelaide hosts bitter rivals Melbourne at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night in what is always a highly anticipated encounter.
The Reds come into the match on a three-match winning streak, while Victory are winless in their previous three games and suffered a 2-1 loss to Sydney FC last round.
Adelaide produced a scintillating display to dismantle Central Coast Mariners 3-1 in their most recent outing.
Verbeek said he is obviously new to this particularly rivalry but knows how important these types of matches are for the fans.
“For me it’s fresh but I know it’s one of the most important games in the league for Adelaide and for Victory,” Verbeek told reporters at a press conference.
“Of course, I’ve played a lot games in Europe also, the derby for the fans is very important and there’s always something special about these games.
“I’m curious about what’s going to happen tomorrow, I heard the ticket sales are going well and we hope we have our 12th man in the stadium that will help us to win the game.”
Despite Victory’s struggles, Verbeek said their position in the table is not reflective of their quality.
The visitors lie eighth on the ladder with five points.
“They’re organised,” he said when asked to give his assessment on Kurz’s side.
“They play very compact and get in the transition as fast as possible, a lot of people behind the ball.
“When they’ve the ball they’re very accurate and play the ball around with a lot of confidence.
“They’ve been a little bit unlucky, they’ve had a lot of injuries but have less points than us but sometimes you’re a little bit unlucky in the games.
“So I think the points they have is not how strong Victory is. I think it’s a good team and even now they’re getting some important players back and are getting fitter and fitter.”
Verbeek was confident the Reds could continue to build their momentum on the back of four successive triumphs in all competitions, regardless of being unable to settle on consistent starting XI to start the season.
The Dutchman confirmed Al Hassan Toure is back from international duty but will likely start proceedings from the bench, while Ben Halloran is out with a hip complaint.
“When I see our last game, I think a lot of things were good,” he continued.
“Some things we can improve but we’re still improving and every game seems to be a little bit better, even though we haven’t played twice (in a row) with the same team.
“Every time we’ve had to change. Louis (D’Arrigo) has been gone, (Al Hassan) Toure has been gone and now Ben Halloran has an injury.
“But I’m confident the guys know what to do and of course the B team is not Melbourne Victory but they tried to play like them and I think we’ve solved some problems we can expect.”
Adelaide United host Melbourne Victory in Round 7 of the Hyundai A-League 2019/20 season on Saturday, 23 November at Coopers Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.00pm ACDT. Gates open at 5.30pm. Live and Exclusive on Fox Sports, Kayo Sports and the My Football Live App.