Hyundai A-League preview: Adelaide v Victory

The reigning Hyundai A-League champions kick off their title defence away to arch-rivals Adelaide United, who have a new coach at the helm in Barcelona legend Guillermo Amor. Expect fireworks on Friday night when Musky's men hit town.

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MATCH DETAILS

Friday, 9 October 2015

Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory

Adelaide Oval, Adelaide

Kick-Off: 7:10 PM (Local) (7:40 PM (AEDT))

Referee: Peter Green

Assistant Referee 1: Paul Cetrangolo

Assistant Referee 2: Matthew Cream

Fourth Official: Jarred Gillett

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT), SBS TWO from 7:30pm AEDT and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: 891 ABC Adelaide & ABC Local Radio South Australia, 774 ABC Melbourne & ABC Local Radio Victoria, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live. Crocmedia A-League Live

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #ADLvMVC

To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets

Adelaide United squad: 2.Michael MARRONE, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Osama MALIK, 7.Pablo SANCHEZ, 8.ISAIAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE (c), 12.Mark OCHIENG, 14.George MELLS, 15.Ben WARLAND, 16.Craig GOODWIN, 17.Mate DUGANDZIC, 18.Jimmy JEGGO, 19.Eli BABALJ, 20.John HALL (gk), 28.Antoni TRIMBOLI, 30.John SOLARI (gk)

**two to be omitted**

Ins: nil

Outs: nil

Unavailable: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (international duty - 1 week), 4.Iacopo LA ROCCA (foot - 5 weeks), 21.Tarek ELRICH (international duty - 1 week), 23.Jordan ELSEY (knee - 3 weeks), 24.Bruce KAMAU (hip - 3 weeks)

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 13.Oliver BOZANIC, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 17.Matthieu DELPIERRE, 18.Dylan MURNANE, 19.George HOWARD, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI (c), 22.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 24.Thomas DENG, 32.Stefan NIGRO

**one to be omitted**

Ins: Nil

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 2.Jason GERIA (international duty), 3.Scott GALLOWAY (international duty), 4.Nick ANSELL (injured), 10.Archie THOMPSON (injured), 11.Connor PAIN (international duty), 15.Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO (international duty)

Carrusca, Valeri

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

There’s been a raft of changes at the Reds in the off-season with the departure of coach Josep Gombau, defender Nigel Boogaard and long-standing CEO Michael Petrillo. The club has relocated to an exclusive training base and the new regime will be looking to make a statement of intent in their season opener.

It’s been quite the opposite at Melbourne Victory, with coach Kevin Muscat keeping the majority of his title winning squad intact. Oliver Bozanic has replaced fellow Socceroo Mark Milligan as the club’s Aussie marquee, while former international Carl Valeri will wear the captain’s armband.

The reigning Westfield FFA Cup holders will be eager to atone for their 3-1 exit at the hands of Victory in the quarter-finals when the sides meet at the hallowed Adelaide Oval.

This fixture is always an attacking affair so expect plenty of goals and an electric atmosphere.

OPTA DATA

•       Adelaide United are winless in their last six A-League meetings with Melbourne Victory (D3 L3).
•       United are, however, unbeaten in their last seven home A-League games against Victory  (W4 D3).
•       Melbourne Victory scored the most (56) and conceded the fewest (31) goals in the 2014-15 regular A-League season.

ROUTE TO GOAL

Where do you start?!

Much will be expected of Adelaide’s Argentine ace Marcelo Carrusca in midfield if the Reds are to get a stranglehold on this match. Sergio Cirio and Craig Goodwin will be tasked with whipping in pin-point crosses to target man Bruce Djite, with new signing Eli Babalj also likely to play an important role off the bench.

Melbourne Victory’s Besart Berisha and Archie Thompson plundered 26 goals between them last season as the Victory registered a league high 56 during the regular season.

While Archie is set to be sidelined for several months with a serious knee injury, there is no shortage of back-up with Gui Finkler, Fahid Ben Khalfallah, Kosta Barbarouses and now Bozanic all attacking threats.

Berisha, Isais

FORM LINES

Adelaide moved on from their FFA Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Victory with a promising 2-0 win over Sydney FC, the side that knocked them out of the finals race last season.

Victory seem to have picked up where they left off last season coming through pre-season with five wins from as many matches and earning a place in the FFA Cup semis courtesy of their 3-1 win over the Reds.

PREDICTION

Adelaide United 2 – 3 Melbourne Victory

The absence of goalkeeper and inspirational skipper Eugene Galekovic due to Socceroos duty may well prove to be the difference between the two sides in a fixture that traditionally has plenty of goals.