We're signing off on Round 17 with a bang in South Australia, where league leaders Perth Glory will be desperate to return to winning ways against an Adelaide United side who have proven too good for the Western Australians three times already in 2014-15. Something's got to give at Coopers Stadium...
Sunday, 15 February 2015
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Kick-Off: 4:30 PM (Local) (5:00 PM AEDT)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (GK) (c), 2.Michael MARRONE, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Osama MALIK, 7.PABLO SÁNCHEZ, 8.ISAÍAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE, 14.Cameron WATSON, 16.Craig GOODWIN, 17.Awer MABIL, 18.Jimmy JEGGO, 19.Miguel PALANCA, 20.Paul IZZO (GK), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 24.Bruce KAMAU, 32.Nathan KONSTANDOPLOUS
***two to be omitted***
Ins: 4.Dylan McGOWAN (returns from injury), 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA (returns from injury), 14.Cameron WATSON (returns from injury)
Outs: 12.Mark OCHIENG (omitted)
Unavailable: 3.Nigel BOOGAARD (knee – 1 week), 23.Jordan ELSEY (knee – indefinite)
Perth Glory squad: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 3.Brandon O'NEILL, 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 14.Chris Harold, 15.Jamie MACLAREN, 17.Mitch NICHOLS, 18.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Daniel DE SILVA, 21.Scott JAMIESON, 23.Michael THWAITE (c), 24.Matthew DAVIES, 27.Dragan PALJIC, 28.Denis KRAMAR
***two to be omitted***
Ins: 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS (promoted), 14.Chris HAROLD (promoted), 17.Mitch NICHOLS (return from injury)
Outs: 6.Dino DJULBIC (suspended – 1 week)
Unavailable: 7.Youssouf HERSI (hamstring – season), 13.Diogo FEREIRA (hip – 4 weeks)
TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport x (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: ABC Radio Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app.
Referee: Ben Williams
Assistant Referee 1: Paul Cetrangolo
Assistant Referee 2: Owen Goldrick
Fourth Official: Daniel Elder
The Hyundai A-League could well be saving the best for last in Round 17.
Sure, Saturday's night showdown between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory will hog plenty of headlines, but the clash between league leaders Perth Glory and their nemesis Adelaide United is arguably more intriguing.
Both sides come into this game on the back of defeats, Glory having gone down 3-1 at home to the nine-man Sky Blues last Saturday, while the Reds gave up a lead to lose 2-1 away to Central Coast.
Kenny Lowe's men and Josep Gombau's side will be determined to respond to those disappointments, but if recent history is anything to go by, the men from Western Australia have a big task on their hands just to escape from Coopers Stadium without tasting defeat.
Adelaide and Glory have met three times so far this season, twice in the league and once in the Westfield FFA Cup final, with the Reds coming out on top on every occasion. The aggregate score from those matches is 5-1 in Adelaide's favour.
A potentially significant subplot is the show cause notice issued to Glory by Football Federation Australia over an alleged failure to properly disclose payments made to agents and services provided to players in recent seasons.
Will the scrutiny and forthcoming audit distract or galvanize Lowe's men?
OPTA DATA STATS
- Adelaide United are unbeaten in eight successive A-League meetings with Perth Glory (W4 D4)
- Perth have lost all three of their A-League away games at Adelaide since 2013.
- Perth have only failed to score in one of their A-League games this season – this was in their third match of 2014-15 against their opponents in this match; Adelaide United.
ROUTE TO GOAL
Adelaide will welcome the inclusion of Marcelo Carrusca. Although they were in control for large parts of Saturday's defeat in Gosford, the Reds lacked their usual cohesion and penetration without their Argentine playmaker. Perth meanwhile have their own creative attacking midfielder Mitch Nichols back in the squad following a lengthy absence due to a hamstring injury, while the inclusion of young forward Chris Harold could offer a pacy alternative if needed off the bench.
Prior to their 2-1 loss away to the Mariners, Adelaide defeated the Newcastle Jets 7-0 at home and won 2-1 away in Perth. Before that they went down 3-1 in Wellington and won 3-0 away to Sydney FC.
The Glory are enduring their worst run of the season, having lost 3-1 to Sydney and drawn 3-3 with Melbourne Victory on the back of that defeat at the hands of the Reds. That's just one point from a possible nine at home. Hardly the form of would-be champions. A revival must start soon or WA's finest will lose their coveted spot at the top of the standings.
DID YOU KNOW?
Adelaide United have held an average of 59.7 percent possession this season – a league-high.
Conversely, only Western Sydney Wanderers (44 percent) have had a lower average possession figure than Perth (44.5 percent).
Adelaide United 1-2 Perth Glory
The Reds didn't quite look themselves in Gosford. Unless they can identify what went wrong and lift for this one, we expect Perth to break that recent hoodoo against the South Australians. But to do so they'll need to finally work out a way to get the ball off Adelaide and break down Gombau's men, who have been Glory's kryptonite so far in 2014-15. This could go either way.