Melbourne City FC travel to the City of Churches in search of a crucial win over league leaders Adelaide United on Friday night. We provide a rundown of the latest team news, key quotes and statistics ahead the Round 22 clash.
John van’t Schip’s side travel to Adelaide in a positive frame of mind, after Bruno Fornaroli’s record-breaking hat-trick secured a comfortable 3-0 win over Sydney FC last week.
Sitting only four points adrift of league leaders Adelaide, a win at Coopers Stadium will keep City within touching distance of top spot on the Hyundai A-League table; an objective aided by a run of three home matches from the final four games against Brisbane, Wellington and a return fixture against the Reds.
Guilherme Amor’s side became the fifth side to lead the A-League this season with a comprehensive 4-0 win over Wellington last week, surging to the top of the table on the back of a stunning 14 game unbeaten run.
A miserly defensive record has underpinned the Reds’ resurgence after starting the campaign with a winless run of eight matches, but with the league’s highest scoring team in town, Friday night’s clash is shaping up to be an intriguing encounter.
Head to Head
City ran out comfortable 4-2 winners in the only meeting between the two sides this season at Coopers Stadium, with van’t Schip’s men losing only once in the past four trips to South Australia.
A total of 15 goals have been shared between the two sides in the past three meetings and with both City and Adelaide failing to register a clean sheet against each other since the 2012/13 season, an exciting match with plenty of goals is certainly on the cards.
Midfielder Anthony Caceres will miss the trip to Adelaide after sustaining a quad injury at training this week, with Jason Trifiro, Aaron Hughes and Wade Dekker all promoted to the extended squad.
The Reds will be without key defender Tarik Elrich for a month due to a groin injury, but creative midfielder Isaias is set to return after a spell on the sidelines. Ben Warland and Jordan Pudler are also included in the extended squad.
van’t Schip’s verdict
“We love to go for the challenge and play this game, that’s what it's all about. We want to improve and also make sure we are up for a game like this. At the end of the league, the momentum you are in at the moment is important. In five or six games, things change so if we have a good result against Adelaide, we are in the mix as well.” –City Head Coach John van’t Schip.
“I believe that Melbourne City have the best attacking side in the league, and we have the best defensive side. It will be a tough game, but we are home at Coopers Stadium and we will make sure it won’t be an easy task for them. We will play like we always do, and we have the quality of players who can get this job done and we must stick together to reach our target, being the three points. – Adelaide United midfielder Iacopo La Rocca.
Marcelo Carrusca was at his glittering best against the Phoenix last week, having a hand in three of Adelaide’s four goals as Amor’s men romped home to a convincing win.
The Argentine maestro has been heartbeat of Adelaide’s sterling unbeaten run, unlocking opposition defences with his trickery, immense ball control and killer eye for a pass.
How to Follow the Match
Friday night’s Hyundai A-League clash at Coopers Stadium kicks off at 7:40pm AEST and is live on Fox Sports 505 in Australia and SBS 2. You can follow all the match action live on Twitter@melbournecity, or by using the match hashtag: #ADLvMCY
- There have been three draws and two wins apiece in the last seven fixtures between these teams.
- Melbourne City haven’t won back-to-back matches in the A-League since Round 11 this season and after a 3-0 win against Sydney FC last round they will be looking to do just that.
- Not since Round 24 of the 2012/13 season has either team kept a clean sheet in past iterations of this fixture.
- After setting a club record for most games undefeated (W11 D3), Adelaide will now be searching for the longest consecutive run of A-League victories since January 2006 (seven game win streak).
- Melbourne City have had 37 shots on target from outside the box this season, only Adelaide have managed more (40).