Victory face celebrating Reds

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Adelaide United vs Melbourne Victory
Friday October 18th, 7:30pm
Hindmarsh Stadium

The game of the round will take an extra significance for the home side, who will celebrate their 10th anniversary against their biggest rival and hopefully a big crowd. Victory will look to get its first win of the season after a dull draw in the Melbourne derby.

The form:

Adelaide United will come into this as favourites, arguably. Their opening round win and performance was an impressive opening hitout for new coach Josep Gombau. Jeronimo Neumann’s brace against the Glory should have him firmly in the Victory sights (and all your fantasy A-League teams). They will have to deal with the suspensions of Isaias Sanchez and Nigel Boogard.

Melbourne Victory’s inability to break the Heart down saw them frustrated to a lifeless opening-day draw, despite many looking sharp on the ball. More will be required from the front three, who far too often were picked off by the Heart central defenders. They will gain the services of Mark Milligan and may see the debut of Kosta Barbarouses, who will be assessed on matchday morning.

The issues:

This rivalry match is a personal favourite. This is the original rivalry, the Oz Classico. Nothing much needs to be said or done, there is a healthy competition there between these two proud clubs. You can only imagine what statement could be made by the Victory in the home of the Reds and on their 10th anniversary, spoiling the Hindmarsh party would be a big motivation for players and fans.

The main issue for United is picking up where they left off last Sunday. A new style has been brought to the club, the adjustment period could be much better than others suggest. The front half looks capable of scoring enough goals to win most matches, and will have greater depth with Brent McGrath and once Bruce Djite is fit.
Melbourne will need to execute better in their front half, after they weren’t able to flow and move the ball quickly last weekend. They’ll have to deal without Pablo Contreras after a two game suspension sidelines the Chilean marquee. Whether Gui Finkler returns to a starting spot should also be an option for Ange Postecoglou to consider, to add to the energy and run of Mitch Nichols and the strength of Milligan.

The tactics:

With every week, more will be gleaned from games and calls will be made on teams. We’re in this process now, we’re finding out about teams and how they’re trying to play. You get the feeling whoever sees the majority of the ball will win. An early goal is crucial, especially for the visitors and they will need to mind Marcelo Carrusca. It will be close and hopefully as exciting as previous encounters.

The talk from Ange:

Much centred around the Socceroos coaching job, as Postecoglou made headlines after saying “I’ve had no formal contact, as far as I’m aware the club may have had some contact from FFA”. At his Thursday press conference, Postecoglou confirmed the return of Milligan, Ansell into the starting XI and the possible debut of Barbarouses “We’ll assess him and he’ll likely be on the bench as well…”

The Verdict:

Adelaide 2-1 Melbourne Victory.

Katie Lambeski

Katie is Football Central's Melbourne Victory correspondent. She describes herself as a mad football fan who also likes to write about it. Follow Katie on twitter @katielambeski

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