Jeronimo has faced accusations of diving. Image courtesy of Morne de Klerk/Getty Images
A fortnight back you could have almost pencilled in Adelaide United for the three points. Fast forward to this New Year’s Eve clash with Sydney FC , and how things have changed. The Reds have suffered back-to-back defeats; a 6-1 pummeling by Western Sydney and a 1-0 loss to a Brisbane team which hadn’t won on the road all season prior to Wednesday night’s match at Hindmarsh Stadium.
The Sky Blues had a change of fortune in the derby clash against Central Coast on Thursday night. Brett Emerton soared high to head home the winner just before fulltime as Frank Farina’s side posted a rare 1-0 win over the Mariners. The result lifted Sydney FC off the bottom of the ladder at the expense of Melbourne Heart, and they should go in to this match chock-full of confidence, even if Central Coast did them a few favours by missing some golden opportunities.
They will be without star Alessandro del Piero due to calf soreness and an Achilles injury. Terry McFlynn returns but injured trio Jason Culina, Fabio and Pascal Bosschart aren't available for the trip to the City of Churches. The Sky Blues will be hoping for a better result than the round 8 clash between the sides where they conceded a late goal to Dario Vidosic giving Adelaide a 2-1 win.
Adelaide has had to put up with more unrest this week regarding Argentine star Jeronimo Neumann, who was booked for unsporting behaviour simulation in the loss to Brisbane. He was branded a cheat by Wellington captain Andrew Durante after what Phoenix players believed was a dive earlier this season, and the tag could well follow the Reds’ import throughout his time in the A-League.
Sydney FC has won the past two clashes at Hindmarsh Stadium with a brace of 2-1 victories. Six of the last seven matches between the teams have finished with more than 2.5 goals .
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