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Wellington Phoenix vs Adelaide United A-League Preview and Team News - Adelaide out to continue dominant record over Wellington

Andrew Hendrie 5 Oct 2017
  • Wellington Phoenix take on Adelaide United on Sunday
  • Adelaide haven't lost to Wellington in their last five encounters
Wellington face Adelaide on Sunday

After missing out on the finals last campaign, both Adelaide United and Wellington Phoenix will be determined to start the new season with three points when they square off at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.

Adelaide’s title defence couldn’t have gone much worse last season as the Reds suffered through a terrible start and ultimately finished in ninth spot, ending with a huge clear-out of players and title-winning coach Guillermo Amor moving on.

Now under the tutelage of German manager Marco Kruz, Adelaide look to recapture their past dominant form as they attempt to make their way back up the ladder in 2017/18.

Kruz has made some intriguing signings since taking over, the most impressive of which is arguably centre back Ersan Gulum, who played for Turkish giants Besiktas 126 times between 2010-16, including winning two league titles and featuring in the Champions League. With Adelaide conceding 46 goals in 27 games last season, Gulum’s presence at the back is crucial.

Furthermore, Adelaide’s midfield has been bolstered by the signing of a couple of internationals, including Algerian former Borussia Monchengladbach player Karim Matmour and Danish winger Johan Absalonsen, who has impressive during the pre-season and in FFA Cup.

There is however a question mark up front and where the bulk of Adelaide’s goals are going to come from, with Baba Diawara, who arrived mid-season last campaign, set to be the main man in the final third.

Meanwhile, the timing of the International break couldn’t have come at a worse time for Wellington, with Michael McGlinchey, Thomas Doyle and Andrew Durante all missing the opening game of the season away in New Zealand camp.

It’s shaping as another tough season for Phoenix, with the club losing coach Ernie Merrick and star players Roly Bonevacia, Shane Smeltz, Kosta Barbarouses, Alex Rodriguez and Vince Lia, with no real star power brought in to replace them.

Dario Vidosic is a solid enough signing and could link up well with Gui Finkler in midfield, as are Ali Abbas and Daniel Mullen, but on paper it doesn’t seem to be enough for Wellington to transform into a finals calibre outfit in one season.

Roy Krishna will be the target in the attacking third, while Phoenix fans will be hoping new Serbian striker Andrija Kaludjerovic - who scored five goals in 10 games for Brisbane Roar back in 2010 - will prove a success story.

Overall, Adelaide have put together a stronger side on paper and are unbeaten in their last five games against Wellington. The Reds appear set for a nice bounce back in 2017/18, and they should start by bagging all three points across the ditch on Sunday.

Stats


  • Adelaide are unbeaten against Wellington in their last five meetings
  • Adelaide have kept four clean sheets during that period
  • Wellington have only won one season opener in 10 attempts

Teams


Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 2.Daniel MULLEN, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Goran PARACKI, 6.Dylan FOX, 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Dario VIDOSIC, 9.Andrija KALUDJEROVIC, 11.Hamish WATSON, 12.Adam PARKHOUSE, 13.Marco ROSSI, 14.Alex RUFER, 17.Ali ABBAS, 18.Sarpreet SINGH, 21.Roy KRISHNA, 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 24.Logan ROGERSON, 30.Keegan SMITH (gk)

**two to be omitted**

Unavailable: 10.Michael MCGLINCHEY (international duty – 1 week), 19.Thomas DOYLE (international duty – 1 week), 22.Andrew Durante (international duty – 1 week)

Adelaide United squad: 1.Daniel MARGUSH (gk), 2.Michael MARRONE, 5.Taylor REGAN, 7.Ryan KITTO, 8.ISAÍAS (c), 9.Baba DIAWARA, 10.Karim MATMOUR, 11.Johan ABSALONSEN, 12.Mark OCHIENG, 14.George BLACKWOOD, 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 17.Nikola MILEUSNIC, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 22.Ersan GÜLÜM, 23.Jordan ELSEY, 24.Jordan O'DOHERTY, 37.Daniel ADLUNG

**two to be omitted**

Unavailable: 6.Vince LIA (suspended - one week) 21.Tarek ELRICH (knee - long term)

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Wellington Phoenix vs Adelaide United A-League Preview and Team News - Adelaide out to continue dominant record over Wellington

After missing out on the finals last campaign, both Adelaide United and Wellington Phoenix will be determined to start the new season with three points when they square off at Westpac Stadium on Sunday.

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