With Adelaide United’s clash against Western Sydney Wanderers fast approaching, we take a closer look at three dangermen the Reds should look out for when the two sides meet on New Year’s Day at Pirtek Stadium.
Currently on a five-goal run in just as many games, Mark Bridge has been called upon by the Wanderers a number of times this season to be the man to get them over the line and to compensate for the misfiring Federico Piovaccari. Bridge has played his part in converting chances, but has also been on hand to create for his teammates, also providing two assists and making him directly involved in over a third of Western Sydney’s goals. With a conversion rate of 50 per cent from the shots he’s taken this season, Bridge could easily make it six goals in six games when he lines up against the Reds at Pirtek Stadium, which will undoubtedly be bouncing with anticipation.
Total Shots: 6
Passing Accuracy: 86.4%
Shot Assists: 2
When fit, Dutchman, Romeo Castelen, is one of the brightest talents in the Wanderers squad. Despite being 32-years-old, Castelen has the exuberance of a footballer ten years his junior and shows it consistently with his marauding runs down the flanks. Tearing United’s defence open when the two sides met in Round 2 this campaign, Castelen’s season was interrupted by injury before he returned to Western Sydney’s line-up to devastating effect. With one goal and two assists to his name, Castelen’s also been at the heart of 19 chances for Tony Popovic’s men. The Reds’ fullbacks must pay close attention to Castelen’s pace and skill and cannot afford to underestimate his potential impact.
Total Crosses: 2
Shot Assists: 6
Passing Accuracy: 77.4%
Total Shots: 3
With Spanish La Liga experience and an acute eye for a forward pass, Dimas Delgado has seamlessly slotted into life at Western Sydney. Dominant in the centre of the park against the Newcastle Jets in Round 12, Dimas was a constant presence for the Wanderers and made the midfield his own. Having created 22 chances so far in his first season in the Hyundai A-League, the Barcelona native’s abilities are thriving in Western Sydney’s revival in form this season. But having been kept quiet when the Wanderers met the Reds in Round 2, and being substituted after a little more than an hour, United can take confidence in the way they were able to minimise Dimas’ influence and will need to look for more of the same this week.
Passing Accuracy: 84.7%
Total Crosses: 9
Shot Assists: 1
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Adelaide United will face Western Sydney Wanderers in Round 13 of the Hyundai A-League 2015/16 season on Friday, 1 January 2016 at Pirtek Stadium. Kick-off is at 7.10pm ACDT.