City secured their spot in the semi-finals with a 2-0 home win over Perth as Bruno Fornaroli netted a brace to earn his side a clash with regular season champions, Adelaide. Guillermo Amo’s side recovered from a slow start to the season during which they lost five of eight winless games to only lose one of their 19 matches since then, but interestingly that defeat came in this very fixture, a 1-0 loss at home to City.
Adelaide won 15 of those 19 games during that excellent run, conceding just 11 goals (0.58 gpg) with 11 clean sheets, whilst finding the net themselves 38 times (2.0 gpg). Their record at the Coopers Stadium in that period was W7-D1-L1 with four clean sheets and five half time leads. However, only three of these nine games were against top-half sides as they beat Perth 1-0, won 3-0 against Brisbane, but suffered that defeat against City. Brisbane’s away form was only the 8th best in the division, while only Phoenix and the Mariners suffered more road defeats than Perth, and as a result the strength of Adelaide’s home form can certainly be questioned.
City lost their final two games of the season as they were beaten 3-2 in a thriller at Perth before losing 2-0 at home to Adelaide themselves on the final day of the season. In the regular season, City’s games saw 107 goals (4.0 gpg) as they were comfortably the division’s top scorers, but only the Mariners and Phoenix were worse defensively. Their road record was W4-D3-L6 but when travelling to fellow top-half sides City were W2-D2-L3 as they did the double over Adelaide but lost at Perth, the Wanderers and Brisbane. City only lost one of these seven matches by more than one goal and managed to find the net in all seven, with five seeing more than three goals.
Adelaide’s record at home when they’ve conceded this term is W3-D2-L2 as two of those wins came over the Mariners, while the other was against Sydney, who only won three road games all season. As a result, we’re taking on Adelaide in this one as they look a little short at evens. City have already won twice at the Coopers Stadium this campaign and with an in-form striker in the shape of Fornaroli they’re certainly a dangerous side that are full of goals, despite the news that Novillo remains suspended, as he was against Perth. At the other end of the pitch, the fact that City have now managed four clean sheets in their last seven is promising as they’d struggled defensively prior to that, with just one clean sheet in 21 games.
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