Muscat’s men head into the FFA Cup round of 16 on the back of their 5-1 demolition of the Roar at Perry Park a fortnight ago. The Victory faithful will be hoping for a similar outcome against ‘Original rivals’ Adelaide United at the Marden Sports Complex in suburban Adelaide.
With an official capacity of just 6000, the Marden Sports Complex, the scene of Adelaide City’s Cup upset over the Western Sydney Wanderers in the inaugural season of the FFA Cup, is expected to be packed to the rafters by reds fans eager to see their side claim preseason bragging rights over their oldest rival.
Kick off: 7.30
The last time these two sides met was round 21 of the 16/17 A-league season. Victory successfully achieved a ‘league triple’ over United, winning all 3 encounters last season. On that particular night, Rojas curled in a beautifully executed freekick, while Berisha managed his 50th goal for the Victory with a brilliant outside of the boot finish into the far corner, setting the home crowd alight. Tarek Elrich finished expertly in the 90th minute following some sloppy Victory defending, but his goal only proved to be a consolation as Victory continued their pursuit of leaders and eventual premiers Sydney FC.
Victory’s last encounter was an odd affair against Oakleigh Cannons at the Jack Edwards Reserve seven days ago. Victory started that game with a strong line up including socceroos James Troisi and Mark Milligan, as well as striker Besart Berisha and the returning Kosta Barbarouses. However Muscat opted for 10 half time subs, essentially playing two separate teams in each half of the contest, making it difficult to draw any conclusions from the 5-2 triumph.
On the same night, Adelaide United came up against Campbelltown City in a friendly. The red’s only managed a 1-1 draw against their NPL opponents, however United fans will have been satisfied to see their promising Senegalese striker Baba Diawara get on the scoresheet, as well as minutes for their Turkish import Ersan Gulum.
In’s and Out’s
Victory are still without newly signed Argentinian midfielder Matias Sanchez as he waits for his Visa papers to come through, however Muscat has confirmed all other squad members are in contention for the match.
Seven-time Turkish international Ersan Gulum is expected to be handed his first competitive start for Adelaide, and new manager Marco Kurz has hinted that A-League veteran Vinny Lia is also in contention for minutes after training with the squad all week.
Victory’s first XI is likely to be too strong for an Adelaide side that is still building their squad ahead of the new campaign. However if the reds can keep victory out until the second half, Victory’s utter lack of depth may be exposed, with Muscat’s bench likely to be composed mostly of youth players.
Victory to win 3-1