Adelaide United can end a disappointing season with victory over Western Sydney Wanderers at Coopers Stadium on Saturday night and ensure they avoid the wooden spoon - should they need to.
Having ridden of the crest of a wave this time last year as they surged into the finals and ultimately landed the A-League premiership with victory over Western Sydney Wanderers, Adelaide United's 2016/17 season has been nothing short of a disaster.
The Reds head into the final game of the campaign knowing they will not be playing finals footy this year. But more significantly, they could need to beat Western Sydney Wanderers to avoid the wooden spoon.
Adelaide sit second from bottom on goal difference and Newcastle Jets' game earlier in the day will determine what result the Reds need against the Wanderers. It could be that a draw is enough to avoid the wooden spoon, but they may also need a win or to avoid a defeat by a certain margin depending on the result between Sydney FC and Newcastle.
Both the Reds and Wanderers were in AFC Champions League action in midweek with Adelaide claiming a crucial 3-1 victory over Jeju United and the Wanderers going down 3-2 at home to FC Seoul.
This one could be decided on who comes out of those games best, although with Western Sydney guaranteed a spot in the finals already Tony Popovic might choose to shuffle his pack and that could play into the hands of Adelaide.
Western Sydney are in good form, but take a chance on Adelaide at the odds and with home advantage.
- Adelaide are being kept off the bottom by goal difference
- Western Sydney are unbeaten in their last five A-League games
- The Wanderers have won only one of their last eight games outside of NSW
A knee injury has ended Tarek Elrich's season prematurely, but Jordan O'Doherty, Mark Ochieng and Ben Warland are back in the Adelaide United squad.
Western Sydney Wanderers make a host of changes with Jack Clisby, Scott Neville, Jumpei Kusukami, Jonathan Aspropotamitis and Lachlan Scott all rested with Shannon Cole, Bruno Pinatares, Aritz Borda, Mario Shabow, Ryan Griffiths, Abraham Majok and Kosta Grozos called up instead.