Adelaide United FC’s clash against the Central Coast Mariners on Saturday will be missing some key figures but at the same time it gives a number of Reds the chance to show they are than more than capable.
Adelaide United FC-s highly anticipated top of the table clash against the Central Coast Mariners at Bluetongue Stadium on Saturday will be missing some key figures but at the same time it gives a number of Reds the chance to show they are than more than capable of continuing the club-s early season success.
Already without captain Eugene Galekovic due to Qantas Socceroos commitments, United Coach John Kosmina also confirmed the Reds will be without Dario Vidosic (knee) and Marcelo Carrusca (calf) for what is sure to be one of their most difficult assignments so far.
Vidosic-s knee soreness saw him left out of the Socceroos squad, while Carrusca-s absence with a calf niggle is to ensure it does not turn into a long term issue.
“If he was fit we would have taken him with us and tested him tomorrow morning, but he-s not so he won-t play,” Kosmina said of Vidosic, who will have to wait at least another week to make his 50th Hyundai A-League appearance.
“Marcelo fatigued through the game last Friday and it-s not a recurrence of a calf injury, it-s a slightly different area, but it-s enough to say if we push him, it could make it from a grade one into a grade two, and that means one or two weeks as opposed to four or five.”
The absence of the Reds- two major playmakers has opened the door for Zenon Caravella and Fabian Barbiero to start and fill the void.
For Caravella, the Reds- reigning Club Champion, it will be his first game, let alone start of the season after an injury disrupted lead in to Season 8, while Barbiero-s patience after starting on the bench in the past two matches has paid dividends.
Despite the pair-s lack of Hyundai A-League action in the first eight rounds, Kosmina is confident they can worry a Mariners defence that will be without their first choice keeper Mathew Ryan, who is also on Socceroos duty.
“You-ve got to be able to compete to a certain point physically but if they-re bigger and stronger than us then we-ve got to play football…we got some really nice combinations going, I was happy with the shape this morning, Zenon and Fabian have got a point to prove as well, so I think they-re up for it,” Kosmina said.
“It-s not just about testing their keeper, it-s about testing their defence and it-s about us focusing on our quality.”
Further to the forced changes, Kosmina has also opted to start Bruce Djite in place of Jeronimo Neumann up front with the intention of having some ‘muscle- to counteract a physically imposing Mariners defence, which will be bolstered by the return from suspension of Patrick Zwaanswijk.
The other selection question has surrounded which of the Reds- two young goalkeepers, Paul Izzo or John Hall, will replace Galekovic in between the posts. Kosmina remained tight lipped on the decision and said he would leave it up to Goalkeeper Coach Peter Blazincic, who may wait until match day before informing who will be given the nod.
Meanwhile, the mind games between Kosmina and Mariners Coach Graham Arnold over whether the Reds are flying under the radar has ensured there will be no shortage of interest in a game that will decide who will be sitting on top of the table after the opening third of the season.
“He (Graham Arnold) has been with that squad for three years now and that squad has pretty much been together for three years, they haven-t had a lot of changes,” Kosmina said following comments from Arnold that dismissed that United-s results were going unnoticed.
“Arnie is good at trying to play things down but they were Premiers last year, I think he forgot to mention that, and they made the grand final the year before and ran second in the league, so they-re not a bad side.”
Hyundai A-League 2012/13 Season - Week 9 CENTRAL COAST MARINERS v ADELAIDE UNITED FC Saturday 1 December 2012, Bluetongue Stadium Kick-Off: 5.30pm AEDT (5.00pm ACDT) Referee: Alan Milliner
Adelaide United squad: 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 5.Iain Fyfe, 6.Cassio (c), 7.Zenon Caravella, 9.Sergio van Dijk, 11.Bruce Djite, 12.Antony Golec, 14.Cameron Watson, 17.Iain Ramsay, 18.Fabian Barbiero, 20.Paul Izzo (gk), 21.Jeronimo Neumann, 22.Fabio Ferreira, 23.Evan Kostopoulos, 30.John Hall (gk) *One to be omitted
Ins: Zenon Caravella (promoted), Sergio van Dijk (promoted), Antony Golec (promoted), John Hall (gk) (promoted from NYL squad) Outs: Eugene Galekovic (gk) (Qantas Socceroos international duty), Marcelo Carrusca (calf - 1-2 weeks), Dario Vidosic (knee - 1-2 weeks) Unavailable: Jon McKain (leg - under review), Jake Barker-Daish (groin - 2 weeks)
Central Coast Mariners squad: 2.Daniel McBreen, 3.Joshua Rose, 4.Pedj Bojic, 5.Zachary Anderson, 6.Patrick Zwaanswijk, 7.John Hutchinson (c), 8.Adriano Pellegrino, 9.Bernie Ibini, 11.Oliver Bozanic, 13.Brent Griffiths, 14.Michael McGlinchey, 15.Brad McDonald, 16.Trent Sainsbury, 17.Anthony Caceres, 18.Nick Montgomery, 19.Mitchell Duke, 20.Justin Pasfield (Gk), 23.Adam Kwasnik, 30.David Bradasevic (Gk) *Four to be omitted
Ins: Patrick Zwaanswijk (returns from suspension), Adriano Pellegrino, Brad McDonald, Anthony Caceres, Adam Kwasnik (all promoted), David Bradasevic (promoted from National Youth League team) Outs: Mathew Ryan (Gk), Tomas Rogic (Qantas Socceroos international duty) Unavailable: James Oates (ankle - 2 months)