It’s first versus last when the bookends of the Aleague competition meet on Public Holiday Monday.
Adelaide’s defence of their title is in tatters through the first 11 rounds of competition. With just one win and three draws to show for their efforts they are rooted to the bottom of the table and sit a whopping 21 points adrift of leaders Sydney FC.
The Sky Blues on the other hand are still unbeaten and have won eight of their opening 11 matches and boast the best defence and attack in the entire league.
WHAT’S GONE WRONG?
It’s hard to identify one key reason for Adelaide being so bad this season after being so good the previously. It isn’t that they have been playing poorly (bar the 4-0 result against Brisbane a fortnight ago), but luck just hasn’t gone their way when it mattered with last week’s 2-1 loss to Newcastle a perfect case in point. Hitting the post twice in the opening 20 minutes, they then found themselves down 1-0 when
Andrew Nabbout scored.
If they can have an ounce of luck go their way then the results should come. Considering they have only won one of their 11 games, their plus/minus differential of -9 isn’t too bad.
Graham Arnold’s Sydney FC are enjoying one of the best starts of any team in Aleague history.
Eight wins and three draws from 11 games sees them seven points clear of Melbourne Victory heading into the round, however, they have played one game more.
The Sky Blues are dominating teams for large periods and have the best attack (2.27 goals per game) and stingiest defence (0.45gpg) in the comp.
Last week they traveled to Perth and registered their second 4-1 result against the Glory, having done so just weeks earlier at Allianz Stadium.
This fixture hasn’t been kind to Sydney FC so treat this like a potential banana peel!
Adelaide has won four of the past five between the sides while their meeting back in Round 8 produced a 0-0 draw – the second straight game Sydney has been held scoreless against Adelaide.
HOW IT PANS OUT
While stats and points can be a telling story you can never underestimate a desperate side.
For that reason you have to give Adelaide some respect heading into this one. Remember, just four weeks ago they became the first and only team to stop Sydney FC from scoring in the Aleague.
Desperation can only take you so far and in this game its execution that counts for plenty. Adelaide haven’t been taking their chances of late and that trying to get past Danny Vukovic will be a task in itself especially when they won’t get many opportunities to test the shot stopper.
Sydney’s attack has been getting most of the limelight in the opening third of the season but their defence has given teams little opportunity of beating them. That is going to be the hardest part for Adelaide who are averaging less than a goal a game and we doubt a 1-0 result will be enough for them here.
THE TIP: SYDNEY FC
– they have too much to offer for Adelaide at the moment
TOTAL GOALS OVER/UNDER 2.5: Go OVERS
– Sydney has scored 14 goals and conceded just two in six appearances on the road in 2016/17