Coopers Stadium will be rocking as premiers Adelaide United host Melbourne City and star striker Bruno Fornaroli in the first of two Hyundai A-League semi finals, with the winner progressing to the grand final.
Friday, 22 April 2016
Adelaide United (1) v Melbourne City FC (4)
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Kick-Off: 7:15 (Local) (7:45pm AEST)
Referee: Strebre Delovski
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream
Assistant Referee 2: Luke Brennan
Fourth Official: Paul Cetrangolo
Additional Assistant Referee 1: Chris Beath
Additional Assistant Referee 2: Ben Williams
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEST), SBS TWO from 8:25pm AEST and Sky Sport Pop-Up (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 891 Digital (Adel) Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live. Crocmedia A-League Live (www.facebook.com/A-leagueLIVERadio)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #ADLvMCY #ALFinals
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 6.Stefan MAUK, 7.PABLO SANCHEZ, 8.ISAIAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE, 12.Mark OCHIENG, 14.George MELLS, 16.Craig GOODWIN, 17.Mate DUGANDZIC, 20.John HALL (gk), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 23.Jordan ELSEY, 24.Bruce KAMAU
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 12.Mark OCHIENG (promoted), 21.Tarek ELRICH (returns from injury)
Unavailable: 19.Eli BABALJ (knee – season)
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (gk), 2.Alex WILKINSON, 3.Aaron HUGHES, 4.Connor CHAPMAN, 8.Aaron MOOY, 14.James BROWN, 18.Paulo RETRE, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 22.Jack CLISBY, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI, 24.Patrick KISNORBO, 25.Jacob MELLING, 26.Marc MARINO, 27.Nick FITZGERALD, 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI, 29.Anthony CACERES, 33.Osama MALIK
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 14.James BROWN (promoted), 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI (promoted)
Unavailable: 5.Ivan FRANJIC (hamstring), 7.Corey GAMEIRO (knee – season), 9.Harry NOVILLO (suspended), 11.Michael ZULLO (foot – season), 17.Wade DEKKER (ankle – season)
Adelaide defeated City 2-0 in Melbourne just two weeks ago to claim the Premiers Plate in a spiteful encounter at AAMI Park.
The match included one of the most dramatic half-time tussles in Hyundai A-League history and while players from both clubs have insisted that won't be a factor on Friday night; many fans will be hoping for some fireworks.
That incident cost City forward Harry Novillo a spot in this semi-final.
While the Reds triumphed in Melbourne, City won the other two meetings this season, which were both held in Adelaide.
A spot in the A-League grand final will be on the line and Adelaide are looking to wrap up hosting rights, having played their previous two competition deciders in Melbourne.
City have never gone further than the semi-finals but the visitors will have the most dangerous player in the competition in striker Bruno Fornaroli, who struck two stunning goals to overcome Perth Glory in an elimination final last week.
The hosts have had a week off and will hope that extra rest makes the difference.
Adelaide coach Gui Amor has full-back Tarek Elrich (groin) at his disposal, which may mean Craig Goodwin will push forward, while City will have to do without Ivan Franjic (hamstring) again.
- There have been 18 goals scored in the last five matches between these teams with the aggregate score at 9-9.
- Adelaide have won only three of 17 finals matches in the A-League, the second-lowest winning percentage (18%) of any team in the history of the competition (Perth Glory 16%).
- City have won three of their past five matches against Adelaide.
- No team has scored more goals than City (26) in the final half-hour of games, while no team has conceded fewer than Adelaide (11).
ROUTE TO GOAL
Depending on his fitness, Elrich's return could allow Goodwin to line-up alongside Sergio Cirio and Bruce Djite in the forward third for Adelaide.
Goodwin has scored four goals and set up another four this season, while the 24-year-old is one of only three players to have crossed the ball over 100 times from open play in the A-League this term.
A fortnight ago, Bruce Kamau started on the wing for the Reds and keeping him in the starting line-up may be the safe option for Amor.
Djite, who scored the second in Adelaide's triumph in their last meeting with City, has notched seven goals in his past eight A-League matches, including four in his last three.
But this match will almost certainly be decided at the other end of the pitch.
Amor will be hoping his team can keep Fornaroli quiet again - the Uruguayan was held to just two shots and one on target two weeks ago.
Fornaroli averages over four shots and over two on target per match this season.
Without Novillo, City's other main attacking option will be Aaron Mooy, who has been the A-League's premier playmaker in 2015-16 with 20 assists plus 11 goals.
WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Bruno Fornaroli. The record-breaking forward took his season tally to 25 goals last week with an audacious bicycle kick and a pinpoint dead-ball effort.
FORM LINES (last five games)
Adelaide United: LDWWW
Melbourne City: WWLLW
Adelaide United 2-1 Melbourne City