Adelaide fans got an early Christmas present over the weekend, when under pressure coach, Rini Coolen was demoted for comeback kid John Kosmina after their lacklustre start to the campaign. They have a tall task ahead of them, facing Sydney FC on Thursday night.
Sydney FC have been inconsistent, going from ending the streak of the Brisbane Roar one week then losing to Wellington. They continued to leave it late last week, beating Newcastle 2-1 (plus a fence).
Further to this, Sydney will be without their key playmaker, Nick Carle who is out with a hamstring injury but will be lifted by the promising debut of youth goal machine, Mitchell Mallia. Sydney will hope to replicate the game they played vs Adelaide in round 3, where they came back and won 2-1.
The Reds have been the opposite, opening brightly but have fallen into the mire, leaking goals like a tap. Sydney will want to exploit the timid defense with balls over the top, to their speed men like Petratos and Antonis, if he plays.
If they are to win, they will want to take advantage of the slow starts of the sky blues and try to contain the second half comeback, if it occurs. Liam Reddy has been in special form, it’ll take a cracker of a goal (like Brockie’s on Saturday) to beat him.
Player to Watch (Adelaide): In Nick Carle’s absence, the Reds will have to watch out for marquee man, Brett Emerton. He hasn’t set the world on fire, since coming back to Australia but without Carle in the line up, I think he’ll stand up.
Player to Watch (Sydney): Dario Vidosic, who will be keen to impress the new coach and in the few wins Adelaide have been able to muster, he’s been the lynch pin with his service from midfield.
Tip: Sydney to smother the dead cat bounce which usually occurs after a sacking to win 1-0 with hopefully no fences being broken this time.
Sydney FC squad: 1. Liam Reddy, 2. Sebastian Ryall, 3. Jamie Coyne, 4. Pascal Bosschaart, 5. Michael Beauchamp, 7. Brett Emerton, 8. Karol Kisel, 9. Bruno Cazarine, 11. Dimi Petratos, 12. Shannon Cole, 15. Terry McFlynn (c), 17. Terry Antonis, 18. Juho Makela, 19. Mark Bridge, 20. Ivan Necevski, 21. Scott Jamieson, 23. Rhyan Grant, *two to be omitted*
Ins: Mark Bridge (returns from injury), Terry Antonis (returns from injury)
Outs: Nick Carle (hamstring – 2 weeks)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene Galekovic (gk) (c), 2.Osama Malik, 3.Nigel Boogaard, 5.Daniel Mullen, 7.Zenon Caravella, 10.Dario Vidosic, 11.Bruce Djite, 12.Antony Golec, 14.Cameron Watson, 16.Spase Dilevski, 17.Iain Ramsay, 18.Fabian Barbiero, 20.Mark Birighitti (gk), 21.Francisco Usucar, 22.Milan Susak, 24.Teeboy Kamara, *one to be omitted*
In: Osama Malik (promoted), Antony Golec (promoted), Milan Susak (returns from injury)
Out: Jon McKain (suspended – 1 match), Sergio van Dijk (hip flexor)