Adelaide United v Sydney FC - Friday 19:30, Fox Sports 4
Adelaide were far from emphatic in beating the Jets last weekend, but got the job done to win 1-0 and make it four victories on the bounce as they look to move up into the top-half, something that few would have considered possible at this stage when they were bottom after eight matches. Sydney, meanwhile, lost 3-1 at home to Brisbane meaning they’ve now lost two in a row and as a result have slipped down to 5th.
As well as winning their last four, Adelaide are now unbeaten in nine (W7-D2) and have been excellent defensively in that time, keeping five clean sheets and conceding just four goals. They’ve won their last five at home and despite their poor run at the start of the season they’ve lost only once in nine games at the Hindmarsh Stadium this term, against Melbourne City. Their home record against top-half sides since the start of last season is W3-D6-L2 as they only managed three clean sheets in these games. Indeed, it’s worth noting that four of their last five home wins have come against sides that currently make up the bottom-four, the other coming against Sydney themselves in a 2-1 win courtesy of a 95th minute penalty.
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Sydney still have the best defensive record in the division defeat last week’s defeat at home. They also conceded four times at home to Victory as they’re once again proving to arguably be a better team on the road. Their away record since the start of last season is W13-D7-L2, with narrow defeats this season coming against Adelaide and Victory, whose goal came as a result of an unfortunate own goal in the 79th minute. Their record at sides between third and sixth since the start of last season is W5-D2-L2 as they led at half-time in each of those wins and seven of these matches had at least three goals.
We always like siding with Sydney in away games and we’re not deserting them here. Whilst Adelaide have certainly improved in recent weeks, the strength of their home form can be questioned and so they look a little on the short side in this one.