Football comes to Adelaide Oval on Friday evening as Adelaide United play its first home game of the 2014/15 A-League season.
And what a game it promises to be, with 20,000 tickets already sold by Friday morning and many more expected to walk up to the gate.
[quote]The re-vamped venue was a major success in not only drawing crowds but providing an electric atmosphere during the AFL season, with the significance of moving professional sporting events back to the centre of the city not to be underestimated.[/quote]
The re-vamped venue was a major success in not only drawing crowds but providing an electric atmosphere during the AFL season, with the significance of moving professional sporting events back to the centre of the city not to be underestimated.
There is something about the carnival atmosphere of walking down the main streets of your capital city in your team colours, surrounded by your fellow supporters, as you make your way to a world-class sporting arena.
Exciting as that is, the event takes on even more significance when you consider the game is Melbourne Victory, a team coming-off a 4-1 drubbing of Western Sydney last Friday night and one that is every bit as attacking as the home side.
Suffice to say, there is every chance it could be a goal-feast, with the firepower both sides possess up front and their commitment to open play making it a fair bet for some early scoring.
Beshart Berisha has long been the talk of the A-League since he first took the field for Brisbane Roar and that has only increased since he made the move to Melbourne.
Any doubts about whether he would adjust to life in a Victory shirt were laid to rest immediately with his performance against the Wanderers last week.
The Albanian is a big-game player and there is no doubt he will be looking to silence the crowd come Friday night with his flair and goal-sense.
A-League all-time leading goal-scorer Archie Thompson is also a threat to the Reds defence, but the home side have plenty of attacking options of their own with Bruce Djite, Marcelo Carrusca and Sergio Cirio all capable of getting on the scoresheet.
The battle of the midfield, as ever, will be the key to this one, but expect it to be won with pace and skill rather than lock-down defence of opposition play-makers.
United coach Josep Gombau last week praised Brisbane for letting his team play and providing a spectacle that fans would want to come and watch.
Expect more of the same this week, with the confidence both clubs will have gained from their respective wins sure to translate to some crowd-pleasing football.
With warm conditions, a fast pitch and the occasion itself sure to make for a memorable event, the feeling that the A-League is building into something special is palpable, and has been growing now for some time.
The fact that a win is at stake is almost secondary, but still crucially important to two teams that have big designs on the 2014/15 season.
The result on Friday night will go a long way to giving an insight as to exactly where both teams are at.
At this stage, it looks to be the peak of their respective powers, which means we are in for a cracker.
Can Adelaide United make it two from two and beat the Victory?