We kick off our 2018/19 Hyundai A-League Finals Series on Sunday night, when we take on Adelaide United in a must-win Elimination Final. Ahead of the clash, we take a look at the five things we’re looking forward to.
City begin their 2018/19 Hyundai A-League Finals campaign with a do-or-die clash with the Reds at Coopers Stadium on Sunday night.
Following a 5-0 win over the Mariners in Round 27, City enter the clash full of confidence after a comprehensive team performance.
It’s knockout football, it’s anyone’s game and it’s set to be a cracker as both teams battle it out for a place in the semi-finals.
There’s nothing quite like finals football, the pressure and expectation that comes with the game's biggest stage creates an opportunity for one team to grasp the moment and rise to the occasion.
It might be one thing to thrive under the pressure of knockout football, but doing so on enemy territory is another.
With two wins and one draw in City’s three previous meetings in the City of Churches, Head Coach Warren Joyce and his team have proven that they are more than capable of knocking off the Reds on their home deck.
With finals so often decided by a moment of individual brilliance or a set play that shapes the momentum of the game, City have a host of stars who can make their mark on Sunday night’s clash.
Just to name a few, Ritchie De Laet, Jamie Maclaren, Luke Brattan and Riley McGree – which we all know a little too well following his famous Semi-Final strike for the Jets last season – can produce a moment of magic in a pressure situation.
With 90-minutes separating the two teams from taking one step closer to a Grand Final, it remains to be seen which player will prove to be the x-factor.
City midfielder Kearyn Baccus finished the 27-round regular season leading the competition for successful tackles, having won 60 tackles in his 26 appearances.
Since joining the Club at the beginning of the season, the 27-year-old has thrived in the heart of City’s midfield, becoming one of the team’s most consistent performers across the length of the season.
Taking on a dangerous Adelaide outfit, Baccus will be eager to play his role for the team as he continues to win his defensive duels.
Undefeated in their past seven Hyundai A-League clashes with Adelaide, the team in City blue will be looking to continue their strong run of form against the South Australian side this weekend.
Registering four wins and three draws from those seven encounters, Joyce and his men recorded a 2-0 win at Coopers Stadium in Round 8, in the two teams only previous encounter at the venue this season.
Both Jamie Maclaren and Luke Brattan have scored against the Reds this season and will be looking to do the same on Sunday, as we continue our push towards creating club history.