Adelaide United will be hoping to extend its unbeaten run at Coopers Stadium to 13 when Wellington Phoenix comes to town on Saturday afternoon.
The Reds are sitting in equal second position on the A-League ladder and are fresh from booking an FFA Cup final berth against Perth Glory with its 3-2 win over Central Coast on Tuesday.
Whether that mid-week fixture will have any effect on the player’s ability to run out the game remains to be seen, but considering United have not had to travel this week, it probably won’t.
[quote]Whether that mid-week fixture will have any effect on the player’s ability to run out the game remains to be seen, but considering United have not had to travel this week, it probably won’t.[/quote]
This match is a chance for the Reds to go to the top of the ladder, depending on other results, and keep the momentum the club has built up so far early in the season going.
Wellington will be a tougher prospect than in previous years, however, with the Phoenix currently sitting in fifth place following some recent good form, including a last-start victory over ACL Champions League victors Western Sydney Wanderers.
There is no doubt the Kiwi’s have improved as a unit in their second season under Ernie Merrick and will be looking to take the next step by claiming a big scalp away from home.
The Phoenix players, and the defence especially, will have a tough task ahead of them, however, with a multitude of scoring options available for the home side, all of whom are in form.
Sergio Cirio has had a blistering start to both the Cup and the A-League, scoring goals seemingly at will.
Awer Mabil, who it was confirmed this week will trial with Ajax in the A-League’s Asian Cup break, has also hit the back of the net at will.
Both players scored against Central Coast and will be a handful for the likes of Phoenix defenders Ben Sigmund and Andrew Durante, and goal keeper Glen Moss.
The Reds midfield will be where most of the damage could be done, however, with the quick, accurate passing game that Adelaide have employed this season a big factor in its success so far.
Marcelo Carrusca just seems to get better and better, both in providing quality ball for his forwards and getting into dangerous positions to score himself, and has willing support in Isais, Craig Goodwin and Bruce Kamau.
On paper it looks too tough a task for Wellington, despite the fact they are only one position below Adelaide on the A-League table.
If they manage a point in this on it will feel like a win, and will no doubt give the player’s confidence moving forward.
United have proved an almost unstoppable force so far this season, however, and look to have simply too much firepower and overall class to be troubled by the Phoenix over the full 90 minutes.
Can Adelaide keep its run going?