Reds hunting Roar and top spot

According to Head Coach Rini Coolen, if Adelaide United FC is to have a chance of overtaking league leaders Brisbane Roar by season’s end, the Reds must beat the high flying Roar in a highly anticipated top of the table encounter at Hindmarsh Stadium tomorrow night.

According to Head Coach Rini Coolen, if Adelaide United FC is to have a chance of overtaking league leaders Brisbane Roar by season-s end, the Reds must beat the high flying Roar in a highly anticipated top of the table encounter at Hindmarsh Stadium tomorrow night.

The match against the Roar is the final, and undoubtedly most important, game in the Reds- run of four matches in 12 days. Brisbane sit eight points clear of Adelaide United heading into the start of 2011, both clubs with seven matches remaining before finals.

A morale boosting midweek win over Sydney FC to end three straight losses has the Reds heading into the game against the Roar confident of ending the league pacesetter-s run of 18 games unbeaten.

Three points would keep the Reds in contention for the Premier-s Plate and Coolen knows how much hinges on the result if his team is to still be in range of catching the Roar.

“I think if we lose this game, more than likely they (Brisbane) will be number one so we-d have to focus on second position,” Coolen said.

“But if we can win tomorrow, and we can, then we can put the pressure back on Brisbane, and there are still a lot of games to go so you never know.”

“If we want to look at first position, we have to win this game.”

The teams- previous two meetings this season, both of which were played at Suncorp Stadium, saw the Reds take a point in a 1-1 draw before Brisbane turned on the blowtorch with a 4-0 win back on November 6.

Coolen knows how it feels to be the hunted after the Reds- run of 11 games undefeated to start of the season, and he admits the Roar-s incredible run now provides a terrific test for his charges to see if they can knock over the Brisbane juggernaut.

“From the start of the season they (Brisbane Roar) have played the best football in the league. We came close to them but they-ve done it for the whole season and have just been getting better and better,” Coolen said.

“So they-re hard to beat and that-s the way it is. They-re a really good team, they have a lot of confidence, they can keep the ball for long periods, they create a lot of chances…so that makes us try to find ways of how we can beat them.”

“We almost did it once in an away game, but it wasn-t good enough, so it-s a nice challenge for tomorrow to see if we can beat them this time.”

Coolen is not holding his breath on the club receiving the clearances for Adelaide United-s two foreign signings, Francisco Usucar and Andy Slory, before the game against the Roar, the Reds boss conceding they may have to wait for United-s following game against Melbourne Victory on Sunday week.

“If it-s positive, then maybe we find out during the day, but more than likely they-re not in the game,” Coolen said of Usucar and Slory.

“We spoke about it all week that maybe they would be there and we could use them off the bench, but I can-t wait until tomorrow to prepare my team for the next game.”

Better news for Coolen is that Travis Dodd is ready to return after missing the midweek win over Sydney FC with an ankle injury, the Reds skipper set to play a part off the bench.

Late mail has also come out of Brisbane on the injury front, with the Roar likely to be without influential playmaker Thomas Broich and defender Ivan Franjic due to injury. The duo-s absence adds to the Roar also being without captain Matt McKay, who is away on Asian Cup with the Qantas Socceroos.

Kicking off the New Year at home against the league leaders and with so much to play for, Coolen knows games and opportunities of this magnitude do not get much bigger.

“Tomorrow is a home game with our home crowd, we have a lot of confidence from our last game, and it-s the last chance to beat Brisbane in the minor round so it-s a nice challenge for us,” Coolen said.

Striker Sergio van Dijk will also be hoping to score his first goal against his former team, the Dutchman currently with 11 goals for the season, including an impressive five in his past six games.

Kick-Off is at 6.30pm (ACDT) and tickets are available through Ticketek. Adelaide United-s Youth Team will take on Brisbane Roar Youth in the curtain raiser. Gates open at 3.20pm with the National Youth League game to kick-off at 3.30pm.

Hyundai A-League 2010/11 Season - Week 21 Adelaide United FC v Brisbane Roar Sunday 2 January 2011, Hindmarsh Stadium Kick-Off: 6.30pm ACDT (7.00pm AEDT) Referee: Matthew Breeze

Tickets: Available through Ticketek (call 132 849, online at TV: Live and exclusive on FOX Sports 1 Radio: ABC Digital and online at

Adelaide United: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 4.Iain FYFE, 6.CASSIO, 7.Lucas PANTELIS, 8.Adam HUGHES, 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 10.Marcos FLORES, 12.Paul REID, 13.Travis DODD (c), 14.Cameron WATSON, 17.Iain RAMSAY, 18.Fabian BARBIERO, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 26.Joe KEENAN *one to be omitted*

In: Travis DODD (returns from injury) Out: Nil Unavailable: Daniel MULLEN (knee - season), Mathew LECKIE (knee - 4 weeks), Joe COSTA (knee - season)

Brisbane Roar: 1.Michael THEOKLITOS (gk), 2.Matt SMITH, 3.Luke DEVERE, 4.Shane STEFANUTTO, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Erik PAARTALU, 7.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA, 9.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 10.HENRIQUE, 14.Rocky VISCONTE, 17.Mitch NICHOLS, 18.Luke BRATTAN, 20.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 21.James MEYER, 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Milan SUSAK *two to be omitted*

In: HENRIQUE (returns from broken arm) Out: Matt McKAY (international duty - 4 weeks) Unavailable: Matt MUNDY (knee - 1 week)

Adelaide United FC vs. Brisbane Roar - Hyundai A-League HEAD TO HEAD Record: Played 18 - 8 wins, 6 draws, 4 losses

6-Nov-2010… L 0-4… 2010/11 Wk 13 (Suncorp Stadium) 18-Sep-2010… D 1-1… 2010/11 Wk 7 (Suncorp Stadium) 6-Feb-2010… W 2-0… 2009/10 Rd 26 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 12-Dec-2009… W 1-0… 2009/10 Rd 18 (Suncorp Stadium) 6-Nov-2009… L 0-2… 2009/10 Rd 14 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 21-Jan-2009… W 1-0… 2008/09 Preliminary Final (Hindmarsh Stadium) 14-Jan-2009… D 0-0… 2008/09 Rd 16 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 17-Oct-2008… W 1-0… 2008/09 Rd 8 (Suncorp Stadium) 24-Aug-2008… D 1-1… 2008/09 Rd 2 (Suncorp Stadium) 20-Jan-2008… W 2-0… 2007/08 Rd 21 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 2-Nov-2007… L 0-1… 2007/08 Rd 11 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 25-Aug-2007… D 2-2… 2007/08 Rd 1 (Suncorp Stadium) 4-Jan-2007… L 0-1… 2006/07 Rd 19 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 11-Nov-2006… W 1-0… 2006/07 Rd 12 (Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane) 22-Sep-2006… D 0-0… 2006/07 Rd 5 (Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane) 1-Jan-2006… W 4-2… 2005/06 Rd 16 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 22-Oct-2005… W 2-1… 2005/06 Rd 9 (Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane) 2-Sep-2005… D 0-0… 2005/06 Rd 2 (Hindmarsh Stadium)

At Hindmarsh Stadium Played 9; Adelaide United 4, Brisbane Roar 3, Draws 2

Last time they met in the Hyundai A-League 6-Nov-2010 Week 13, Hyundai A-League 2010/11 Season at Suncorp Stadium Brisbane Roar 4 (Reinaldo 43-, Smith 55-, Barbarouses 62-/66-) Adelaide United FC 0

Adelaide United last three results MW. 29-12-2010… W 2-0… vs. Sydney FC (Adelaide Oval) Wk 20. 26-12-2010… L 0-2… vs. Central Coast Mariners (Bluetongue Stadium) MW. 22-12-2010… L 2-4… vs. Perth Glory (nib Stadium)