Two teams with different ambitions will clash on Friday night.
Adelaide have hit a purple patch of form but unfortunately it’s come at the wrong end of the season with the defending champions out of contention to play finals.
They will, however, take plenty of confidence into this having knocked off Central Coast 3-2 last week to jump the Mariners on the ladder and climb off the bottom of the table.
Perth have already secured their passage into the finals but will want to hit the Elimination series full of running. They head into this off consecutive losses to Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC.
It’s no secret that Adelaide’s title defence has been extremely disappointing but they are currently enjoying their best run of form for the season.
A three-game point streak has been highlighted by back-to-back wins over Brisbane and Central Coast.
To show you how far Gui Amor’s men have come in recent times, the win against the Mariners was their first road win of the season! It is also the first time they have scored more than two goals in a game this season.
Up until the last fortnight Perth had been making a serious charge at second spot on the ladder.
Their slim chances of having the first week of the finals off went by the wayside when they crumbled against the Victory 4-1. Up until that point they had picked up points in 10 of their previous 11 games.
Kenny Lowe’s side then had a chance for redemption but after beginning positively against the league leaders, couldn’t make the most of their chances and eventually were made to pay in dropping a 3-nil result.
Perth has been outscored 7-1 in the past two weeks and quickly need to turn things around if they are any chance of making a deep run in the finals.
This game could not have come up at a better time for Perth.
They have played Adelaide twice this season and handled them like a cheap suit both times. Cumulatively the score from those two fixtures is 8-1 with the last time they met being just six weeks ago when Perth ran out convincing 5-0 winners.
The scary thing is that the win was at this very ground and is only one of two away wins for Perth for the entire 2016/17 campaign.
Adelaide, however, have had a good record at Coopers against Perth prior to that which included a run of four wins and two draws.
If this game was played two weeks ago we would be declaring Perth.
Their sudden loss in form will have us and punters worried especially when playing Adelaide who are showing some signs of the form that took them to the title last season.
It is no surprise to see the Reds pick up in form as the battle for the wooden spoon has intensified. Let’s be honest, no one wants to run last but they bridged the gap between themselves and the Mariners and will want to keep that going in the final three weeks of the competition.
Even though Adelaide are playing some of their best football, Perth are going to be our selection. Any team with Diego Castro, Adam Taggart and Andy Keogh will always be a threat and we can’t see them dropping three straight games just a few weeks out from the finals.
THE MATCH TIP:
TOTAL GOALS OVER/UNDER 3.5:
OWN GOAL as First Goal Scored – remarkably, the last three times they’ve met an Own Goal has been the first scoring play