Adelaide United Head Coach, Josep Gombau, says the final four games in season 2014/15 are like “four finals”, increasing the emphasis for this week’s match against Sydney FC.
The Reds currently sit in fifth position on the ladder, but are just two points behind league leaders, Wellington Phoenix, and one point behind this week’s rivals, Sydney FC, in third.
The sides have already met twice in the A-League this season, the first ending in a scoreless draw and the second seeing United convincingly win 3-0 at Allianz Stadium.
And although the Reds are set to be without three key players for the match, Josep Gombau believes the squad he has available will be more than capable of coming away from the game with an important result.
“Today we’ll decide (on who will be in our starting XI),” Gombau said.
“It’s not easy because we are missing three players that are important. Tarek Elrich, who will come back from his Socceroos game and after that he has a suspension (to serve), Chelo (Carrusca), who is very important for us, and also Pablo (Sanchez) is not in a good moment.
“But we are satisfied with the players that we have and we can do a good job (in Sydney).”
Reflecting on the current league standings and the magnitude of the game against Sydney, Gombau praised the efforts of his players and said the congestion at the top of the table will cause an incredible run into the finals.
“For me, in this moment, there are two groups in the league – the group that is in the top five and is trying to be at the top and we are in this group and we need to be satisfied to be (here),” Gombau explained.
“Maybe in another year you can be third (place on the ladder) but you are ten points from the top. We’re in fifth position, but we’re just two points from the top of the ladder.
“Anything can happen in the last four games. What’s important is we go game-by-game… we are working, we are doing well, and this is our aim.
“If you want to finish in the top, or top two, you cannot lose points. But this is also what they (the other four teams in the top five) are thinking as well.
“It’s important to win a lot, but it’s also very important not to lose. We are going there to win.”
Adelaide United will face Sydney FC on Saturday 4 April 2015 at Allianz Stadium in Round 24 of the Hyundai A-League 2014/15 Season. Kick-off is at 7:30pm (7:00pm ACDT).
Saturday, 4 April 2015
Sydney FC v Adelaide United
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-Off: 7:30 PM (Local) (7:30 PM AEDT)
Referee: Chris Beath
Assistant Referee 1: Ashley Beecham
Assistant Referee 2: James Tesoriero
Fourth Official: Chris Young
TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app.
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #SYDvADL
Sydney FC squad: 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Seb RYALL, 5.Matt JURMAN, 6.Nikola PETKOVIC, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 11.Bernie IBINI, 13.Christopher NAUMOFF, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 16.Alex GERSBACH, 17.Terry ANTONIS, 18.Peter TRIANTIS, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 21.Mark JANKO, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 26.Jacques FATY, 27.Mickael TAVARES, 29.George BLACKWOOD, 34.Robert STAMBOLZIEV ***two to be omitted***
Ins: 17.Terry ANTONIS (return from injury), 21.Mark JANKO (return from international duty), 29.George BLACKWOOD (return from international duty)
Outs: 9.Shane SMELTZ (suspended – 2 matches)
Unavailable: 3.Sasa OGNENOVSKI (hip – indefinite), 7.Corey GAMEIRO (knee – indefinite), 19.Nick CARLE (knee – indefinite), 22.Ali ABBAS (knee – indefinite)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (GK) (c), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Osama MALIK, 7.PABLO SÁNCHEZ, 8.ISAÍAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 11.Bruce DJITE, 14.Cameron WATSON, 15.Ben WARLAND, 16.Craig GOODWIN, 17.Awer MABIL, 18.Jimmy JEGGO, 19.Miguel PALANCA, 20.Paul IZZO (GK), 24.Bruce KAMAU, 32.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS ***two to be omitted***
Ins: 15.Ben WARLAND (promoted), 17.Awer MABIL (returns from injury), 32.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS (promoted)
Outs: 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA (quadricep – 2-3 weeks)
Unavailable: 21.Tarek ELRICH (suspended), 23.Jordan ELSEY (knee – indefinite), 30.John Hall (gk) (international duty)