Tonight’s Week 24 A-League opener looks a very lopsided affair on paper.
The last time the Reds stepped out, they broke a 10-match hoodoo against the Melbourne Victory with a scintillating 4-1 win away from home which bodes very well for this.
The Fury have lost six of their past seven and are four points behind the rest of the pack and their current form indicates that Adelaide will be too hard an opponent to get past, especially at the fortress of Hindmarsh Stadium.
The Reds will be boosted by the return of young gun Mathew Leckie, even if it will be off the bench, whilst defender Nigel Boogaard is also back from injury.
In the Fury camp, captain Ufuk Talay and star striker David Williams are back but that will not be enough to stop the likes of Sergio van Dijk, Marcos Flores and Iain Ramsay.
Verdict: Reds 3-0
Adelaide United vs. North Queensland Fury
Date: Friday, 21 January 2011
Venue: Hindmarsh Stadium
Local kick-off: 7:30pm (8:00pm AEDT)
Referee: Peter Green
Head-to-Head: All matches (played 5): Adelaide United wins 3, North Queensland Fury wins 1 (1 draw)
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports, FS1 HD and Sky Sports 3 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club partner is ABC Digital (Adelaide) and Zinc 100.7 FM (Townsville). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 4.Iain FYFE, 6.CASSIO, 7.Lucas PANTELIS, 8.Adam HUGHES, 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 10.Marcos FLORES, 12.Paul REID, 13.Travis DODD (c), 14.Cameron WATSON, 17.Iain RAMSAY, 19.Mathew LECKIE, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 21.Francisco USUCAR *one to be omitted*
In: Nigel BOOGAARD (returns from injury), Mathew LECKIE (returns from injury)
Out: Fabian BARBIERO (ankle – indefinite)
Unavailable: Daniel MULLEN (knee – season), Joe COSTA (knee – season), Joe KEENAN (leg – season), Andy SLORY (thigh – 1 week)
North Queensland Fury squad: 1. Justin PASFIELD (gk), 2. Jack HINGERT, 3. Brad McDONALD, 4. Eric AKOTO, 5. Mark HUGHES, 6. Ufuk TALAY (c), 11. David WILLIAMS, 12. Panagiotis NIKAS, 13. Andre KILIAN, 14. Chris GROSSMAN, 16. Simon STOREY, 18. Brett STUDMAN, 19. Isaka CERNAK, 21. Jason SPAGNUOLO, 22. Lorenzo SIPI, 28. Sebastian USAI (gk) *one to be omitted*
In: Ufuk TALAY (back from injury), David WILLIAMS (back from injury), Brett STUDMAN (promoted)
Out: Adam CASEY (hamstring – 1 week), Ramazan TAVSANCIOGLU (short term contract ended)
Unavailable: Gareth EDDS (ankle – 1 week), Adam CASEY (hamstring – 1 week), Matthew HAM (knee – out for the season)