One of the A-League's best rivalries looms as one-sided, unless Adelaide United can arrest their poor form in front of their home fans
|By GOAL AUSTRALIA
Bowles, Fyfe, Golec, Cassio
Carrusca, McKain, VidosicKostopoulos, Neumann, Ramsay
Galloway, Broxham, Leijer, Traore
Flores, Bru, CeleskiRojas, Thompson, Stella
The hosts, Adelaide United, are in freefall, having won just two of their past eight matches.
That is a run that has seen them drop to fourth on the A-League table and when John Kosmina walked out on the club as head coach due to internal issues, it capped off a pretty miserable few weeks for the club.
Interim coach Michael Valkanis is a former player and captain and will demand respect, but a 4-2 home defeat against Western Sydney last week was not the ideal start to his reign.
Bruce Djite is out with another groin injury, though the return of Argentine forward Jeronimo Neumann helps offset that.
Defensive midfielder Osama Malik is also back in the squad and could push for a starting spot.
Victory, meanwhile, are absolutely flying and have won six of their past eight.
Coach Ange Postecoglou implemented a series of changes in the off-season, while his tinkering with the squad has not stopped during the campaign.
But crucially, the league's biggest club appear to have clicked and their recent form is testament to that.
With Marco Rojas and Archie Thompson scoring for fun, Victory have climbed to second on the table and they are now just three points behind the Central Coast Mariners.
Diogo Ferreira is back after suspension and could return at right-back at the expense of teenager Scott Galloway, but both Mark Milligan [international duty] and Nick Ansell [injury] will miss. Jonathan Bru should take the place of the former, while Leigh Broxham will move back into defence to be replaced in midfield by Francesco Stella.
This fixture is always a great leveller though, and the form book can often be thrown out when the two sides meet.
United fans normally pack Hindmarsh Stadium for the contest and create a good atmosphere which the home players thrive on.
And after enduring a terrible record against Victory in the early stages of the A-League – including two grand final defeats, one to the tune of 6-0 – Adelaide have actually had the running over their rivals in recent years.
Victory have won just one of the past seven encounters, with Adelaide triumphing on four occasions.
Crucially, the last three Hindmarsh Stadium fixtures have been United wins.