ALM Preview: Adelaide v City

Melbourne City will be looking to register a win on the road when its faces Adelaide United this Friday night.

Fresh off a 3-2 win over Sydney FC last Saturday, City’s Men will be looking for their first win on South Australian soil in just over four years.

Coming up against an Adelaide outfit fighting for second place on the table, a win on Friday night will further extend City’s lead on top.

Here’s a few things to watch for come Friday.

Is the Adelaide curse finally coming to an end?

If any team can break a drought, it’s this high-flying Melbourne City side.

For all of City’s success in recent years, Adelaide has been the one place things become unstuck, not having won against the Reds in Adelaide since December of 2018.

Despite those struggles, this is a Melbourne City side brimming with confidence, sitting comfortably at the top of the A-League Men table with a nine-point buffer and a game still in hand.

City has proven already this season that it thrives when it can control the tempo of games and construct its chances through the midfield, and it will look to produce a complete 90-minute performance on Friday.

While things certainly won’t be easy against a solid Adelaide outfit, City still possesses one of the most potent squads in the league and Head Coach Rado Vidosic will be hoping he can extract the very most out of them on this latest trip across the border.

Life without Leckie

It was announced earlier this week that Mathew Leckie will be out to 6-8 weeks.

Much to the relief of the City faithful though, he looks to be on track to return for Finals.

Fortunately for City, Andrew Nabbout provides a great option on the wing, while Florin Berenguer was also deployed out wide by Vidosic last time out, so there is no shortage of players waiting in the wings to fill the void.

One player who unfortunately won’t be an option to see some extra minutes is young forward Arion Sulemani, who tore his ACL last week as he edged closer to a first-team debut.

In some more positive news, Curtis Good and Scott Jamieson have both been included in the squad and look on track to make their return to action this Friday.

Tilio looks to back up memorable performance

While City may have lost one key Socceroos star through injury, another stepped up to fill the void against Sydney FC last time out.

Marco Tilio produced a memorable performance where he registered an assist and a goal of the utmost quality.

Taking possession on the edge of his own box he dribbled his way from coast to coast before firing off a shot that sailed into the back of the net, taking a slight deflection on the way.

He then combined with his Socceroos teammate Jamie Maclaren to record the assist to give City a lead they would ultimately hold onto until the final play of the game.

With Leckie’s absence, others will need to step up to ensure City can continue their winning ways and if City’s young star can keep providing highlights like the ones he gave fans on the weekend, then the team is in safe hands.

What happened last time we met?

The last time these two sides met was just over a month ago where they played out an at-times chaotic 3-3 draw at AAMI Park.

Two errors from the City backline gave Adelaide a 3-1 lead but it then managed to claw its way back in the second half.

Mathew Leckie scored midway through the second stanza and then Jamie Maclaren calmly stepped up and slotted a penalty in the 92nd minute to ensure City didn’t walk away from the clash empty-handed.

How have our opponents been travelling lately?

Adelaide head into Friday’s clash on the back of two consecutive draws, forced to share the points with the third-placed Wanderers and bottom-of-the-table Melbourne Victory.

Substitute Nestory Irankunda was the hero last time out, scoring a stunning goal in the 87th minute from outside of the box to secure the 1-1 draw against Victory.

While it currently sits in fourth on the table, Adelaide is in a three-way battle for second place, jostling for positions with Central Coast Mariners and Western Sydney Wanderers.


A-League Men: Round 19

Adelaide United v Melbourne City

Coopers Stadium

Friday 3 March, 7:45pm KO