Matchweek 18: Reds must be wary of Wellington’s ability in transition

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Adelaide United can consolidate its position in the top three with a win over Wellington Phoenix in Wollongong on Sunday.

Both sides come into the match unbeaten in their last three games in what is expected to be a really fascinating contest against two teams that have a propensity towards playing attacking football.

Adelaide currently lie in equal second on 30 points after coming back from two goals down to record a resilient 2-2 draw against Sydney FC.

A victory against Wellington will see them jump into second spot if the Central Coast Mariners drop points against the Sky Blues on Saturday.

Despite the Phoenix occupying ninth spot they are a better side than what their place on the table suggests and played out a 1-1 draw against Western United on Thursday and Carl Veart knows his side will be in a battle ahead of their first meeting of the campaign.

Veart on confidence taken from comeback against Sydney FC…

I think the brand of football we’re playing at the moment is really exciting and a high-pressure type of football, so we intend to carry that on. Wellington have had some really good results of late so it’s going to be a tough trip for us.

Veart on Wellington’s strengths…

Wellington are a very good footballing side and they’re very good in transition with (Ulises) Dávila sitting in between the defence and midfield. So it’s something that we have to be mindful of – that’s what cost us last week – those transition goals against Sydney. It’s something that we’ve worked on this week, especially coming up against Wellington, so if we can control that and have control of possession of the ball and with our attacking weapons we should be able to come away with the three points.

Veart on Yengi’s return…

Kusini is back in the squad and will travel. It was only a slight hamstring that he did and we were ultra-cautious with his recovery time and he’ll come back in and play some part in the game tomorrow.

Team news

Kusini Yengi returns to the squad following a hamstring problem, providing another attacking option for Veart. Meanwhile, Yaya Dukuly has been promoted to the senior side.

Mohamed Toure and Noah Smith are unavailable for selection this week but both are back in full training. James Delianov is also tracking really well from a hamstring problem but is still ruled out. Nathan Konstandopoulos, Javi López and Michael Jakobsen remain absent with respective injuries.

Head-to-head

Played: 39
Wins: 19
Draws: 11
Losses: 9

Last five meetings

1-1 draw (A)
1-2 loss (H)
3-1 win (H)
0-0 draw (H)
1-3 win (A)

Ones to watch

Tomi Juric has scored in three straight matches and could become the first Reds player since Bruce Djite in 2016 to score in four consecutive A-League matches. Juric has seven goals this season and six in his past five games and will be hoping to continue that form as his fitness levels improve.

Ben Waine could hold the key for Wellington as the 19-year-old forward has impressed this season with five goals, including scoring three in his last three games. 

Match details:
Sunday 25 April vs Wellington Phoenix
A-League 2020/21 – Matchweek 18
Kick-off 3.40pm ACST
Venue: WIN Stadium
Broadcast: Fox Sports
Stream: Kayo Sports, MyFootball Live App

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