Round four of the Hyundai A-League is headlined by a top of the table clash between Josep Gombau’s Adelaide United and Graham Arnold’s Sydney FC. Both teams are undefeated so far and have largely impressed in the early stages of the season. Both sides have already met this season in the FFA Cup quarter-final in which Adelaide came out on top against a 10 man Sydney side in extra time. So sit back, relax and enjoy some of the best football the A-League has to offer.
Much was expected of Josep Gombau’s side going into this season and so far they have delivered. The South Australian side has so far conquered the challenges which A-league sides have thrown at them as they have recorded three wins and one draw. Perhaps their biggest hiccup did come last weekend when they left it late to see off the struggling Melbourne City side. For the first 30 minutes, the reds struggled and perhaps deservedly went behind. However a Bruce Djite strike changed the game just before half time therefore handing the reds the ascendency which was converted through a Carrusca penalty. They will go into the clash with the fact they have recently beaten the sky blues in the FFA Cup and will be looking to the home crowd to give them a boost.
Is there a harder job in Australian club football than head coach of Sydney FC? Yeah I don’t think so either. However so far, Graham Arnold has met and possibly exceeded the expectations of the sky blue faithful (including myself). The sky blues have had their most successful start to a season in 5 seasons but more importantly for the club and its players, they actually look like they have a coach. Most recently they dispatched of his former club (Central Coast Mariners) rather comfortably. Key to this success has been the combination of Terry Antonis and Milos Dimitrijevic. The central midfield pair have controlled the past two games and have allowed their strong front line to press the opposition. No doubt this tactic will be in Graham Arnolds plan this weekend.
Eyes on: The shots to goal ratio this season in the A-League has dramatically improved. Perhaps key to this stat is the form of two strikers due to meet this Friday. Bruce Djite has reached his much anticipated potential and credit has to go to Gombau who has set up the perfect system for him to succeed. On the other side Corey Gameiro is showing what he can do with a full pre-season under his belt. The striker has surprisingly cemented a spot in the sky blues first team and how he has deserved it.
Head to Head:
Played: 29 Adelaide United: 13 Draw: 4 Sydney Fc: 12
21/10/2014 at Allianz Stadium. Sydney FC 1-3 (AET) Adelaide United (FFA Cup).
Adelaide United: LWDWW Sydney FC: LDWWW
Adelaide United: Jordan Elsey (knee, season). Fabio Ferreira (hamstring, 2-4 weeks). Cameron Watson (toe, 2 weeks). Ben Warland (ankle, 3 weeks)
Sydney FC: Rhyan Grant (knee, 1 week). Matthew Jurman (knee, indefinite).
Possible Line ups:
Adelaide United: Galekovic; Malik, Boogaard, Elrich; Isaias, Mabil, Goodwin, Carrusca; Cirio, Djite, Jeggo.
Sydney FC: Janjetovic; Ryall, Petkovic, Ognenovski, Abbas; Antonis, Dimitrijevic; Ibini, Carle, Gameiro; Janko.
These teams are hard to split and have the ability to score quickly. I am predicting a 2-2 draw.
- This is Adelaide’s best start to a campaign since 2005/06 (10 points in 4 games).
- Last time Sydney Fc recorded 3 wins and 1 draw in 4 games they won both the premiership and championship (2009-2010)