Reds up against it for Roar clash

If trying to topple a team that leads the league by seven points is not a big enough challenge in itself, the Reds will have to try and do it with a depleted squad on Saturday.

If trying to topple a team that leads the league by seven points is not a big enough challenge in itself, the Reds will have to try and do it with a depleted squad on Saturday.

Adelaide United FC will face the toughest assignment in the Hyundai A-League when it heads to Suncorp Stadium to take on a Brisbane Roar outfit that has scored eight goals in its past two games, the most recent of which being a 3-0 drubbing of Melbourne Victory away from home. Add to that the imminent return of key marksman Besart Berisha from injury and the task appears even more daunting.

But the greatest hurdle facing Reds Coach Josep Gombau ahead of the Round 14 encounter is pulling together a travelling party with a squad that has been severely hit by suspension, injury and international duty.

Those unavailable to face the Roar include Osama Malik who will sit out a game after receiving his fifth yellow card of the season last Friday night.

From the casualties of last Friday night, Bruce Djite and Fabio Ferreira are set to miss 1-2 weeks with groin injuries, while a hamstring strain is expected to keep lively Spanish forward Sergio Cirio out for the next 3-4 weeks.

Disappointingly, Jacob Melling injured his knee late in the Reds- Foxtel National Youth League game on Saturday, the young midfielder requiring surgery which is set to keep him sidelined for up to six weeks.

Playmaker Marcelo Carrusca and midfielder Cameron Watson are rated outside chances to return, their progress to be assessed throughout the week, while Cassio-s comeback has been set back.

Finally, Jake Barker-Daish and Youth Team duo Ryan Kitto and goalkeeper John Hall are currently in Oman with the Australian U22 squad.

But amongst the gloom are some positives. Gombau will regain feisty Argentinean forward Jeronimo from suspension, while exciting youngster Awer Mabil continues to takes strides forward in his development after he regularly mesmerized the Sydney FC defence in his 70 minute performance last Friday night.

Local youngster Anthony Costa also tasted his first Hyundai A-League action with an hour long cameo against the Sky Blues, the 19 year old winning the penalty that led to the Reds- second goal.

Furthermore, after missing the last 10 games with an ankle injury, Daniel Bowles made a successful return to Hyundai A-League action playing the final 11 minutes against Sydney FC, while Jordan Elsey has arrived home from Hong Kong.

Gombau may not have many chess pieces at his disposal to work with this week, but going by the character and resilience the Reds have played with over of the past month in particular, you can be sure whichever Adelaide United team runs out on Saturday, it will give another highly committed and determined account of themselves.

Injury/Suspension list Osama Malik - Suspended (1 match) Marcelo Carrusca - Groin (Test) Cameron Watson - Back (Test) Bruce Djite - Groin (1-2 weeks) Fabio Ferreira - Groin (2 weeks) Sergio Cirio - Hamstring (3-4 weeks) Jacob Melling - Knee (6 weeks) Cassio - Hamstring tendon (Indefinite) Jake Barker-Daish - International duty Ryan Kitto - International duty John Hall - International duty