A-League Preview: Red-hot Adelaide visit leaders
Adelaide have won their past two matches away to Brisbane Roar and if the Reds beat the A-League leaders again this weekend, they will claim a significant mental edge ahead of the finals, which begin in April.
After a poor start to the 2013/14 season - one win in their opening nine matches - Adelaide have stormed back up the table to sit third after last week's 5-1 thrashing of Wellington Phoenix.
Spanish head coach Josep Gombau has got his Adelaide team playing the possession-based style he covets and the Reds will come up against the Australian prototype this week, in Brisbane.
But Adelaide full-back Tarek Elrich feels the South Australian outfit could beat the Queenslanders at their own game at Suncorp Stadium.
"Brisbane has been building that style of football for four or five years and the players they've got have been there for a very long time," Elrich said on Tuesday.
"For us it's new, it's only about eight months old with this new coach. We're getting better and better every week.
"They're first, so they are setting the benchmark at the moment, but we've had a good run and are hoping we can continue it."
Gombau's men defeated the Roar in Brisbane in January, while the Reds lost on their home turf in December.
The Reds have not lost at Suncorp Stadium in their past three visits and with three wins in their past four games, Adelaide will head to Brisbane with plenty of confidence.
Brisbane defeated Perth Glory 3-1 last week but that was their first victory in four matches as the leaders stumbled through February.
Despite some patchy form, Mike Mulvey's Brisbane side remain top of the A-League with 41 points with Western Sydney Wanderers (34) in second and Adelaide (30) just ahead of fourth-placed Central Coast Mariners and fifth-placed Melbourne Victory on goal difference.
The A-League's Round 22 will begin with Victory hosting the Mariners with Melbourne still reeling from a week where they conceded 11 goals.
Victory edged out Adelaide 4-3 in Round 20, lost 4-2 to Guangzhou Evergrande in the AFC Champions League, and were then thrashed 4-0 by Heart in the Melbourne derby on Saturday.
Central Coast bounced back from five straight defeats in all competition's last week, prevailing 2-1 over Sydney FC.
Heart, who notched their fifth consecutive win against Victory, could rise as high as seventh if they win away to Newcastle Jets on Saturday, while the Sky Blues will host the Wanderers in the Sydney derby later that night.
Perth, who have dropped to the last spot in the table, will travel to Wellington to take on the Phoenix in the earlier game on Sunday.