Jeronimo will be vital for Adelaide if Bruce Djite is ruled out. Image courtesy of Morne de Klerk/Getty Images
Suffice to say, Michael Valkanis’s first match as interim head coach of Adelaide United didn’t go well as his team was hammered 4-2 by Western Sydney. It was just Adelaide’s second loss of the season in front of the Hindmarsh Stadium faithful, but that result made it three losses on the bounce for a United team which up until a couple of weeks back looked set to challenge for a top two position.
In stark contrast, Melbourne Victory has won its last three and lost just two of its last 15 games, although one of those defeats came when they last visited Adelaide and suffered a 4-2 thumping at the hands of the Reds. Ange Postecoglou has his team firing on all cylinders and his team sits just three points behind league leader Central Coast.
Postcoglou will be forced in to a re-shuffle this week for a couple of reasons. Influential midfielder Mark Milligan was called up to the Socceroos squad for the friendly against Romania, so he won’t be available for this clash. That should allow French-born Mauritian import Jonathan Bru more game time. After a lacklustre start to the season, he starred in Victory’s 2-1 derby win over Melbourne Heart last weekend. Postecoglou will also need to find another body in defence after teenager Nick Ansell was ruled out for up to two months with a groin tear.
New Zealander star Marco Rojas has scored in both clashes between the clubs this season. He left the field late last week with hamstring tightness, but should be right to take on the Reds. Adelaide’s Bruce Djite scored in his return to the line-up last week, but his comeback from a groin problem could be short-lived with the injury flaring up again. Defender Nigel Boogaard will definitely miss the match due to suspension. United comes in to the game on a short turnaround after taking on the Wanderers last Sunday afternoon.
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