Reds turn attention to crucial Sydney FC battle

An increasingly resilient Adelaide United FC will be confronted with its next serious test when it meets fellow top six aspirant Sydney FC on Sunday.

An increasingly resilient Adelaide United FC will be confronted with its next serious test when it meets fellow top six aspirant Sydney FC on Sunday at Hindmarsh Stadium (Kick-Off 6.30pm ACDT).

With their berth in the 2012 AFC Champions League now indisputably official following last night-s Play-Off victory over Persipura Jayapura, the Reds- attention now quickly turns back to their mission of trying to break into the Hyundai A-League-s top six.

Sunday-s showdown with Sydney FC will be the final match in a stretch of three in eight days for United, however after wins in the first two, which included three points against Gold Coast United and last night-s 3-0 result to get the club into the ACL, any suggestion of fatigue amongst the squad is instead a revitalised feeling.

“It-s over and done with once and for all now (qualifying for the AFC champions League), any appeal process is null and void, it-s a good thing and it-s a good feeling as well because we-ve had two games in five days and got two positive outcomes, so it puts a spring in the step of the guys,” Reds Coach John Kosmina said at the squad-s recovery session this morning.

What has further pleased Kosmina is that his charges are starting to develop and show signs of something he has been looking to instil into the squad since he took charge.

“I talked about resilience a lot earlier in my time here and I think they-re starting to become a lot more resilient because we train that way and we-re starting to think that way as well,” Kosmina said.

“We-ve got games we have to play and you-ve just got to do the job and that-s it…plus we-re down on numbers, so the blokes that are here have actually benefitted from the experience.”

Generally, having players unavailable, whether it be through injury or national team duty, is not ideal for a coach, but Kosmina believes the limited numbers to choose from has improved the resolve of the group.

“It-d be nice to have some more choices but we don-t, so sometimes you-ve just got to roll your sleeves up, get on with the job and I think that-s the way we-ve gone about things and that-s the way they-re starting to think and react as well,” Kosmina said.

After missing out on the ACL play-off with Persipura due to the restricted number of foreign players permitted in each squad, Uruguayan midfielder Francisco Usucar is one player Kosmina could consider bringing in for the match on Sunday.

Four points adrift of the top six, the clash with Sydney FC could well have a significant bearing on the Reds- finals hopes. A win would put United within a point of the Sky Blues, who sit in seventh position but are equal on points with the sixth placed Newcastle Jets, while a loss would give the Reds an even greater mountain to climb.

United takes on the Jets next Friday night and while he is by no means getting overawed by the situation, Kosmina knows the next two games could well be season defining.

“It-s another big game this week and if we can get a result on Sunday then Newcastle next Friday is going to be another big game as well,” Kosmina said.

“We can-t rely on other teams to do the job for us, we-ve got to try and get as many wins as possible in the next six matches and it starts this Sunday against Sydney FC.”

Sydney FC and their marquee man, Qantas Socceroos and former Blackburn Rovers midfielder Brett Emerton, will head to Adelaide confident after downing Perth Glory last weekend and recording a come from behind win on their last trip to Hindmarsh.

But the Reds are beginning to find some of their own ominous form meaning Sunday-s game could well be another Adelaide United v Sydney FC classic.

Kick-Off is at 6.30pm (ACDT) and tickets are available through Ticketek.

Hyundai A-League 2011/12 Season - Week 20 Adelaide United FC v Sydney FC Sunday 19 February 2012, Hindmarsh Stadium Kick-Off: 6.30pm ACDT Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones

TV: Live and exclusive on FOX Sports 1 Twitter: https://twitter.com/adelutd_fc (hash tag #HALausyd)

Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 6.Cassio, 7.Zenon Caravella, 8.Evgeniy Levchenko, 9.Sergio van Dijk, 10.Dario Vidosic, 11.Bruce Djite, 13.Ricardo Da Silva, 14.Cameron Watson, 15.Jacob Melling, 17.Iain Ramsay, 18.Fabian Barbiero, 21.Francisco Usucar, 38.John Hall (gk) *one to be omitted*

In: Ricardo Da Silva (promoted) Out: Nil Unavailable: Daniel Mullen (international duty), Mark Birighitti (gk) (international duty), Antony Golec (international duty), Spase Dilevski (groin), Jon McKain (knee), Paul Izzo (gk) (knee)

Sydney FC squad: 1.Liam Reddy, 3.Jamie Coyne, 4.Pascal Bosschaart, 5.Michael Beauchamp, 6.Hirofumi Moriyasu, 7.Brett Emerton, 8.Karol Kisel, 9.Bruno Cazarine, 10.Nick Carle, 12.Shannon Cole, 15.Terry McFlynn, 16.Joel Chianese, 18.Juho Makela, 20.Ivan Necevski (gk), 21.Scott Jamieson, 22.Nathan Sherlock, 23.Rhyan Grant, 24.Mitch Mallia *three to be omitted*

In: Jamie Coyne (promoted), Terry McFlynn (returns from injury), Juho Makela (promoted) Out: Nil Unavailable: Dimi Petratos (Qantas Australian U23 duty), Sebastian Ryall (hamstring - 2 weeks), Mark Bridge (ankle - 3 weeks), Terry Antonis (hamstring - 1 week)

Adelaide United vs. Sydney FC - Hyundai A-League HEAD TO HEAD Record Played 22 - Adelaide United FC 9 wins, 3 draws, 10 losses

22-Dec-2011… D 2-2… 2011/12 Wk 12 (Sydney Football Stadium) 22-Oct-2011… L 1-2… 2011/12 Wk 3 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 29-Dec-2010… W 2-0… 2010/11 Midweek (Adelaide Oval) 4-Oct-2010… W 2-1… 2010/11 Wk 9 (Sydney Football Stadium) 4-Sep-2010… W 3-1… 2010/11 Wk 5 (Sydney Football Stadium) 27-Dec-2009… L 0-1… 2009/10 Rd 21 (Sydney Football Stadium) 16-Oct-2009… W 2-1… 2009/10 Rd 11 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 16-Aug-2009… L 0-1… 2009/10 Rd 2 (Sydney Football Stadium) 3-Jan-2009… W 2-0… 2008/09 Rd 18 (Adelaide Oval) 22-Nov-2008… W 2-0… 2008/09 Rd 12 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 20-Sep-2008… L 0-3… 2008/09 Rd5 (Sydney Football Stadium) 28-Dec-2007… L 1-3… 2007/08 Rd18 (Adelaide Oval) 20-Oct-2007… W 1-0… 2007/08 Rd9 (Sydney Football Stadium) 1-Sep-2007… D 2-2… 2007/08 Rd2 (Sydney Football Stadium) 14-Jan-2007… W 1-0… 2006/07 Rd20 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 19-Nov-2006… L 1-2… 2006/07 Rd13 (Sydney Football Stadium) 2-Oct-2006… L 1-4… 2006/07 Rd6 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 19-Feb-2006… L 1-2… 2005/06 Semi Final 2nd Leg (Sydney Football Stadium) 12-Feb-2006… D 2-2… 2005/06 Semi Final 1st Leg (Hindmarsh Stadium) 3-Feb-2006… L 1-2… 2005/06 (Sydney Football Stadium) 27-Nov-2005… W 3-2… 2005/06 (Hindmarsh Stadium) 9-Oct-2005… L 1-2… 2005/06 (Sydney Football Stadium)

At Hindmarsh Stadium Played 7; Adelaide United 4, Sydney FC 2, Draws 1

Last time they met 22-Dec-2011 Week 12, Hyundai A-League 2011/12 Season at Sydney Football Stadium Sydney FC 2 (Kisel 19- (pen), Petratos 66-) Adelaide United FC 2 (Mullen 8-, Vidosic 56-)

Adelaide United last three results Wk 19 .12-2-12… W 2-1… vs. Gold Coast United (Skilled Park) Wk 18. 3-2-12… L 1-2… vs. Wellington Phoenix (Hindmarsh Stadium) Wk 17. 29-1-12… L 0-3… vs. Perth Glory (Hindmarsh Stadium)