Adelaide United FC is bracing for a difficult pre Christmas mission as it ventures to Parramatta Stadium to try and put the brakes on the Western Sydney Wanderers.
Aiming at a fifth win in six games, Adelaide United FC is bracing for a difficult pre Christmas away mission on Friday night as it ventures to Parramatta Stadium to try and put the brakes on a Western Sydney Wanderers team brimming with confidence.
The Wanderers share the best defensive record in the league having conceded a miserly eight goals after 11 rounds and are also, similarly to the Reds, looking for their third straight win.
These stats have helped the Wanderers to fourth on the table and it does not come as a surprise to United Coach John Kosmina to see how well the Hyundai A-League new boys are performing in their first season, particularly under the guidance of his opposite number Tony Popovic.
“I know Tony Popovic. I had him at Sydney as a player and an assistant coach, and I-ve known him since he was a kid playing at Sydney United back in the late nineties, so I know what he-s like and I know how organised and detailed he can be, so it doesn-t surprise me,” Kosmina said.
“They-ve also got some good players that are playing a lot better now than they were when we took them on in Round 2 so we need to be aware.”
In that game back on October 12 a solitary second half Jeronimo Neumann goal was all that separated the teams as a disciplined Wanderers proved a tough nut to crack.
Kosmina expects nothing to change tomorrow night but with the Reds netting a total of seven goals from their past two games, and the likes of Marcelo Carrusca, Dario Vidosic and Fabio Ferreira starting to come into their own, the United boss is confident they can unravel the WSW defence.
“We-ve got to be able to break them down…and with our passing game, we-ve got to progress with what we-re doing at the moment,” Kosmina said.
“For us, if we can keep the ball I know we-ve got the players that can break them down.”
Carrusca and Vidosic in particular have been pivotal in the Reds- recent purple patch of finding the back of the net and Kosmina would not be surprised if Popovic starts Qantas Socceroos midfielder Aaron Mooy and instructs his team to test the duo physically early on.
“Their (the Wanderers-) strength is their two centre backs and the two midfielders in front of them and I-m expecting Aaron Mooy to play because he-s aggressive,” Kosmina said.
“If you look at the hit he put on (Alessandro) Del Piero last week it was a fair challenge but it was a hard challenge and Popovic is going to look at Marcelo and Dario and think how will they deal with that kind of a challenge.”
It will not only be the Wanderers players on the field the Reds will need to contend with tomorrow night but also a Western Sydney home crowd that has already proven one of the most parochial in the competition in its short existence.
“I think the Western Sydney crowd are great…they-re certainly vocal and it adds to the atmosphere,” Kosmina said.
The Reds are set to go in unchanged from last Sunday-s victory over Wellington, Kosmina-s adage of ‘if it ain-t broke don-t fix it- continuing for yet another week as United tries to put more space between it and the chasing pack while keeping on the heels of the league leading Central Coast Mariners.
Heading into a hectic festive period, which sees the Reds return home to face Brisbane Roar on Boxing Day, Sydney FC on New Years Eve and the Newcastle Jets away on January 5, Kosmina believes this cluster of games will begin to sort out the contenders from the pretenders and give the Reds a better gauge of where they sit.
“I think over the next four weeks the table is really going to sort itself out because there a lot of games in a short space of time,” Kosmina said.
“We-ve got four games in 20 days and two trips…and we-ve got the distractions of Boxing Day and New Years Eve, so that-s probably why this period sorts out who-s serious and who-s not.”
“After the game against Newcastle I think we-d then be able to say we-re going to go on with this and give it a good shake or it-s going to be a bit of a battle for the next 11 games and what do we need to do.”
Kick-Off from Parramatta Stadium is at 6.30pm ACDT.
Hyundai A-League 2012/13 Season - Week 12 WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS v ADELAIDE UNITED FC Friday 21 December 2012, Parramatta Stadium Kick-Off: 7.00pm AEDT (6.30pm ACDT) Referee: Jarred Gillett
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 5.Iain Fyfe, 6.Cassio, 7.Zenon Caravella, 8.Marcelo Carrusca, 9.Sergio van Dijk, 10.Dario Vidosic, 11.Bruce Djite, 14.Cameron Watson, 17.Iain Ramsay, 18.Fabian Barbiero, 21.Jeronimo Neumann, 22.Fabio Ferreira, 23.Evan Kostopoulos, 30.John Hall (gk) *Two to be omitted
Ins: Zenon Caravella (promoted), Sergio van Dijk (promoted) Outs: Nil Unavailable: Nil
Western Sydney Wanderers: 1.Ante Covic (GK), 2.Shannon Cole, 3.Adam D-apuzzo, 4.Nikolai Topor-Stanley, 5.Michael Beauchamp, 6.Jerome Polenz, 7.Labinot Haliti, 8.Mateo Poljak, 9.Dino Kresinger, 10.Aaron Mooy, 11.Tarek Elrich, 12.Tahj Minniecon, 13.Joey Gibbs, 14.Kwabena Appiah-Kubi, 15.Reece Caira, 17.Youssouf Hersi, 18.Iacopo La Rocca, 19.Mark Bridge, 20.Jerrad Tyson (GK), 21.Shinji Ono, 23.Jason Trifiro *Six to be omitted
Ins: Mark Bridge (returns from injury), Kwabena Appiah-Kubi (returns from injury), Tarek Elrich, Reece Caira, Jason Trifiro, Labinot Haliti Outs: Nil Unavailable: Nil
Adelaide United vs. Western Sydney Wanderers - Hyundai A-League HEAD TO HEAD Record Played 1 - 1 win
At Parramatta Stadium This will be the first time the teams have met at Parramatta Stadium
Last time they met in the Hyundai A-League 12-Oct-2012 Week 2, Hyundai A-League 2012/13 Season at Hindmarsh Stadium Adelaide United FC 1 (Neumann 70-) Western Sydney Wanderers 0