A-League Preview: Adelaide United v Western Sydney Wanderers

It's slick, high-flying Adelaide United, seeking to bounce back from a narrow loss to Melbourne Victory, at home to the wounded Western Sydney Wanderers FC. The hosts will be the favourites at Coopers Stadium, but despite their woes, write off the Asian champions at your peril.

MATCH DETAILS 

Saturday, 6 December 2014 

Coopers Stadium, Adelaide 

Kick-Off: 7:00 PM (Local) (7:30 PM AEDT) 9:30 NZT SQUADS 

Adelaide United 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (c) (GK), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 6.CASSIO, 7.Pablo SÁNCHEZ, 8.ISAÍAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE, 14.Cameron WATSON, 16.Craig GOODWIN, 17.Awer MABIL, 18.Jimmy JEGGO, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Fabio FERREIRA, 24.Bruce KAMAU, 30.John HALL (GK) 

**two to be omitted** 

Ins: 6.CASSIO, 14.Cameron WATSON, 24.Bruce KAMAU (all promoted) 

Outs: 5.Osama MALIK (calf – 4-6 weeks) 

Unavailable: 20.Paul IZZO (gk) (calf – 2-3 weeks), 23.Jordan ELSEY (knee – indefinite) 

Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1.Ante COVIC (gk), 2.Shannon COLE, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 5.Brendan HAMILL, 7.Labinot HALITI, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Tomi JURIC, 10.Vitor SABA, 12.Nikita RUKAVYTSYA, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 17.Romeo CASTELEN, 18.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 22.Seyi ADELEKE, 23.Jason TRIFIRO, 35.Kearyn BACCUS 

**two to be omitted** 

Ins: 9.Tomi JURIC (returns from injury), 23.Jason TRIFIRO (promoted), 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO (promoted) 

Outs: Nil 

Unavailable: 11.Brendon SANTALAB (shoulder – indefinite), 34.Golgol MEBRAHTU (knee – indefinite) 

Hashtag #ADLvWSW 

BROADCAST COVERAGE

Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand) 

Radio Broadcast: 891 ABC Adelaide, Local Radio Radio SA, 702 ABC Sydney & ABC Local Radio NSW, 666 ABC Canberra, Grandstand Digital, Grandstand Online / ABC Radio Mobile phone app   

Referee: Jarred Gillett 

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

Adelaide United will be fired up for this one after tasting defeat for the first time this season away to fierce rivals Melbourne Victory last time out. The Reds were by no means outclassed at AAMI Park and remain a serious challenger at the right end of the table. 

For the Wanderers, fresh from a mid-week defeat at home to Brisbane Roar, this is the final  opportunity to get off the mark with a Hyundai A-League win before they fly off to the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco. 

The clock is well and truly ticking on Western Sydney's finals hopes - if Tony Popovic's men don't start picking up points soon, they will face an uphill battle to force their way into the top six during the second half of the campaign. 

OPTA DATA STATS 

- Adelaide are currently unbeaten in 13 home games; a run which stretches back to December 2013 (W8 D5). 

- Western Sydney Wanderers are without a win in nine games (including play-offs); their worst run ever in the Hyundai A-League (D3 L6). 

- Adelaide have conceded just twice at home; a league-low number. 

- Wanderers have lost five straight games on the road (including playoffs); their longest losing streak ever in the Hyundai A-League. 

ROUTE TO GOAL 

The Reds had plenty of joy down the flanks away to Victory, Craig Goodwin swinging in some good crosses for the likes of Awer Mabil, who missed one and scored another of his opportunities at the back post. Expect Josep Gombau's side to go wide again this weekend in a bid to avoid the Wanderers' strong centre of midfield and defence and potentially exploit left-back Seyi Adeleke, who has made some high-profile mistakes early in his Hyundai A-League career. 

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK? 

Tomi Juric sat out the loss to Brisbane due to hamstring tightness but is expected to start in South Australia. The centre-forward was conspicuous through his absence as the Wanderers toiled without reward in front of their own fans. With Brendon Santalab sidelined, Western Sydney's over-reliance on their popular young striker must be a concern for Popovic, as Nikita Rukavytsya and Romeo Castelen continue to settle into the side. 

FORM LINES 

Prior to their 3-2 loss to Victory, the Reds had won three matches in succession in all competitions, beating Central Coast away in the Hyundai A-League, at home in the Wesfield FFA Cup and seeing off Wellington Phoenix at home in the league. 

Before losing to the Roar, the Wanderers were held 1-1 at home to Sydney FC last weekend and prior to that they drew at home to Central Coast and Newcastle Jets. 

DID YOU KNOW? 

Adelaide's top-scorer Sergio Cirio has scored all three of his league goals at home this term. No player has created more chances on their home turf than Cirio (11) this campaign. 

PREDICTION 

Adelaide United 3-1 Western Sydney 

Popovic's side need to be typically gritty and determined to get anything out of this one, but they just can't seem to buy a win of late. And with Adelaide looking so cohesive, the pain of a first loss still stinging, we can't see any outcome other than a straight-forward home victory.