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Struggling United face toughest challenge

Soccer

Adelaide United face arguably their toughest challenge of the season tomorrow night when they travel across the border to play against rivals Melbourne Victory.

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After a promising draw against the reigning champions at Adelaide Oval in Round One, the two teams have gone in different directions.

Adelaide are yet to record a win this season, while the Victory are second on the table, 10 points above the Reds, with a game in hand.

Adelaide coach Guillermo Amor has promised to kick-start the season multiple times in the first seven games, but his team’s possession game has not yet translated into much-needed goals.

While captain and first-choice ‘keeper Eugene Galekovic returned to the fold for United in last Sunday’s draw against Newcastle, influential defender Osama Malik has been ruled out for a month with a hamstring injury.

Amor has called up youth player Ruon Tongyik in the absence of Malik, with striker Eli Babalj and Italian Iacopo La Rocca still out for at least two weeks with foot injuries.

Marcelo Carrusca provided a creative spark from the bench against the Jets, and will be expected to start at AAMI Park tomorrow night.

Victory, meanwhile, are expected to reintroduce young defender Jason Geria, captain Carl Valeri, and the league’s top scorer Besart Berisha, who are all returning from short-term injuries.

Kevin Muscat’s men will be hoping to continue their winning streak, claiming victory in their last five games in all competitions.

Adelaide’s top scorer, Spaniard Pablo Sanchez, has scored two goals this season, despite starting just one game for the Reds.

The Victory, however, are spoilt for choice when it comes to attacking options, with Berisha, Gui Finkler and Kosta Barbarouses recording 10 goals between them in their six A-League games.

Finkler will be in the spotlight after his standout performance against the Mariners last week, scoring two, including an impressive free kick.

It is hard to look past the free-scoring home side in this fixture, but anything can happen whenever two of the nation’s fiercest rivals meet.

The Lady Reds will face a depleted Sydney side tonight at Adelaide Shores, with the sky blues missing three key players to Matildas duty.

Adelaide are coming off the back of a draw against Newcastle last weekend, played at Coopers Stadium as a curtain-raiser for the mens side.

Sadly, Adelaide captain Marijana ‘MJ’ Rajcic has been ruled out for the remainder of the season after tearing her ACL early on Sunday afternoon.

With no other outs, the second-placed Lady Reds will be the favourites, their seven points so far this season leaving them behind only the runaway Melbourne City side.

Melbourne Victory v Adelaide United

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

Kick-Off: 7:00 PM (ACDT)

Referee: Jarred Gillett

 

Adelaide United Women v Sydney FC Women

Friday 27 November 2015

Adelaide Shores Football Centre

Kick-Off: 7pm (ACDT)

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