Adelaide United Head Coach, Marco Kurz, confirmed who would replace the suspended Ersan Gülüm and insisted he expected an extremely fired-up Melbourne Victory come Saturday night.
Another highly anticipated instalment of the Original Rivalry sees the fourth-placed Reds desperate to extend their lead over the fifth-ranked Victory to six points with a win at AAMI Park.
Adelaide have lost just once in their past seven games, while Kevin Muscat’s men have suffered three straight league defeats.
More recently, the Victory also went down 4-1 away to Shanghai SIPG in the AFC Champions League on Tuesday night.
Kurz still expected a revved up Melbourne outfit despite their form and the long flight back from Shanghai.
“I think Victory is a very strong team and it’s a derby,” he told reporters at the Adelaide United Training Centre.
“I expect a very strong team from Victory, I expect the best line-up they can put on the field.
“And I think the fitness of Victory is good enough to play two games in a week, because it’s normal they’re professional players.
“They’ll do everything to win the game just like we’ll do everything to win the game and I expect a very good team.”
The German tactician said Taylor Regan will supersede Gülüm in the line-up, who is ruled out through suspension.
Regan played over 70 minutes in last week’s 2-2 draw against Central Coast Mariners following the Turkish international’s controversial dismissal.
“I think Taylor (Regan) did a good job after he came in,” he said.
“And he will start, Taylor is a good player he waited a long time after his long injury.
“But he is now fit, he’s ready and he’s hungry for success.”
Kurz also admitted he was impressed with the 25 minute cameo appearance new signing Džengis Čavušević made against the Mariners.
The Slovenian showed great endeavour on debut and almost scored the winning goal had it not been for a brilliant Ben Kennedy save to deny his header.
“Džengis (Čavušević) is not one hundred per cent fit, but in the twenty minutes he played against Central Coast everybody could see that he’ll be an important player for us in the future,” he said.
“That’s the same with Johan (Absalonsen), every training they’re looking better and better.
“I think we had a lot of fun in the last game with Džengis because he’s a good player and in this moment he came in and our game changed not completely but in the right way.”
Adelaide United will face Melbourne Victory in Round 21 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Saturday, 24 February at AAMI Park. Kick-off is at 7.20pm ACDT.