Adelaide United v Sydney FC preview
These two sides have a total losing streak of seven games between them, making this a tough match to pick on form.
Prior to these bad runs, the Reds would have been hot favourites but it might be hard to back a team that have failed to give anywhere near their best for the last 270 minutes of football.
Double that with the fact that captain Travis Dodd and goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic will miss the match and the odds are somehow slightly falling the way of the Sky Blues.
But they have problems of their own and if they do not take maximum points here then their title defence could be all over.
A loss to either side could spell disaster so a draw could be the way to go here although I feel Adelaide may have enough quality to overcome an Alex Brosque-less Sydney even with two key players out themselves.
Verdict: Reds 1-0
Adelaide United FC v Sydney FCDate: Wednesday 29 December 2010 Venue: Adelaide Oval, Adelaide Local Kick-Off: 7.30pm (ACDT) (8.00pm AEDT) Head-to-Head: All matches (played 19): Adelaide United wins 8, Sydney FC wins 9 (2 draws)
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1, FS1 HD and Sky Sports 1 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club partners are ABC Digital (Adelaide) and SBS 6 Digital (Sydney). 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 (c), 8.Adam HUGHES, 9.Sergio VAN DIJK, 10.Marcos FLORES, 12.Paul REID, 14.Cameron WATSON, 17.Iain RAMSAY, 18.Fabian BARBIERO, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 26.Joe KEENAN In: Robert CORNTHWAITE (returns from suspension) Out: Travis DODD (ankle - 1 week) Unavailable: Daniel MULLEN (knee - season), Mathew LECKIE (knee - 4 weeks), Joe COSTA (knee - season)
Sydney FC squad: 1. Liam REDDY (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Stephan KELLER, 5. Hayden FOXE, 6. Hirofumi MORIYASU, 7. Brendan GAN, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 9. Bruno CAZARINE, 11. Kofi DANNING, 12. Shannon COLE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN (c), 17. Matt JURMAN, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 21. Scott JAMIESON, 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 24. Dimitri PETRATOS *three to be omitted* In: Rhyan GRANT (returns from injury) Out: Alex BROSQUE (groin - 3 weeks) Unavailable: Terry ANTONIS (knee - 4 weeks)