At his press conference on Thursday morning, Adelaide United Head Coach, Marco Kurz, provided an injury update as well as discussing the strengths of Melbourne City ahead of Sunday’s clash.
The Reds have been boosted by the return of several first-team regulars after missing them in the match that saw a youthful United side record a plucky 0-0 draw with Sydney FC.
Kurz revealed Paul Izzo, George Blackwood and Ben Garuccio are a chance of featuring following their group stage exit with the Olyroos at the AFC U-23 Championship in China.
The German admitted the trio will be monitored before determining whether they make the final matchday squad.
“They arrive in Adelaide at 2:30pm I think and we’ll make the check to see how they’ve recovered,” he said at the Adelaide United Training Centre.
“And then they will train with us on Saturday with the team and I think when they’re ready, they’re not tired, they’re not injured then all of them will stay in the squad for Melbourne.”
Kurz went on to confirm Nikola Mileusnic has recovered from his illness which ruled him out of the Sydney match in the warm-up and Ersan Gülüm has also been named after being cleared of serious injury to his ribs.
He also said Taylor Regan, Ryan Kitto and Nathan Konstandopoulos have overcome respective injuries and have duly been named in the extended list.
Furthermore, while Johan Absalonsen, Vince Lia and Baba Diawara remain unavailable for selection, Kurz had some encouraging news regarding defender, Tarek Elrich.
“And the last one (to come back) will be Tarek Elrich he starts today full training with the group,” he said.
“He can now train the whole volume and that’s good news for us.”
Kurz spoke about some of City’s threats and what he has learned from their previous meeting
“I hope we play better on Sunday,” he said after suffering a 2-0 home loss to them in Round 4.
“But to speak about Melbourne City it’s a very good team which stays very compact.
“They play well on the counter-attack and they’ve one of the best strikers in the offence with Ross (McCormack), who can also score from set-pieces.
“We must be awake if we lose the ball and I know against City (back in Round 4) we had maybe a couple of good moments but not a lot, because they play very disciplined, they’re strong and very fit.
“And we hope we can play and perform better than City on Sunday and then we have a chance for the points.”
The ex-Schalke 04 defender also said he has had to alter training this week as a result of the scorching temperatures which have hit Adelaide.
“We started early and we trained short but intensive,” he continued.
“A good recovery is important such as ice-bath or foam roller and we said to the boys to start drinking a lot of water early in the morning.
“… But we are careful we trained very focus but not too much (due to the extreme heat), we know on game day they must be fit and that’s our goal.”
Adelaide United will face Melbourne City in Round 17 of the Hyundai A-League 2017/18 season on Sunday, 21 January at AAMI Park. Kick-off is at 6.30pm ACDT.