Gold Coast United have emerged as one of the toughest teams to beat this season with their resilient defence and willingness to work for each other.
Miron Bleiberg’s men have not lost in nine matches and find themselves sitting fourth on the table, within striking distance of the top two.
A fortuitous away win against the Melbourne Victory last weekend gave United their second triumph in a row on the road and put them in a good position to bridge the gap on league leaders Brisbane Roar and second-placed Adelaide United.
There is not much fuss about the Gold Coast line-up this season with a hard-nosed approach in defence accompanied by midfielders and strikers who are willing to sacrifice their own games for the good of the team.
It is a far cry from last season where they were all razzle dazzle and little substance and it indicates that perhaps this season they truly mean business.
We will know that for sure after tomorrow night’s clash with Sydney FC, who have pulled themselves together after a horrendous start and are now only two games out of the top six.
Two wins and a draw from their past three suggests that things are on the improve at Sydney Football Stadium but they do face a tough test at Skilled Park where the home side have conceded just two goals in six matches this term.
A largely unchanged line-up is likely to be deployed by coach Vitezslav Lavicka but I’m unsure if that team that limped past Newcastle Jets last Sunday are good enough to take out the Gold Coast.
Verdict: Gold Coast 1-0
Gold Coast United v Sydney FC
Date: Friday, 12 November 2010
Venue: Skilled Park, Gold Coast
Local kick-off: 7.30pm local (8.30pm AEDT)
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Head-to-head: All matches (played 4): Gold Coast United wins 3, Sydney FC wins 0 (1 draw)
Match fact: Having not lost any of their previous nine matches, Gold Coast United are aiming for a ten match undefeated streak, which would be just the fourth time in Hyundai A-League history a team has gone for ten straight matches without a loss.
Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1 & FS1 HD. Delayed broadcast on Sky Sports 3 (NZ). Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is SBS 6 (Digital). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au
Gold Coast United squad: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Steve PANTELIDIS, 3.Michael THWAITE, 5.ROBSON, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Zenon CARAVELLA, 8.ANDERSON, 10.Jason CULINA (c), 13.Bas VAN DEN BRINK, 14.Joel PORTER, 15.Tahj MINNIECON, 16.Kristian REES, 18.James BROWN, 22.Adama TRAORE, 25.Chris BROADFOOT, 26.Ben HALLORAN, 27.Chris HAROLD, 30.Jerrad TYSON (gk) *three to be omitted*
In: 15.Tahj MINNIECON (return from illness), 18.James BROWN (return from illness), 25.Chris BROADFOOT (promoted)
Unavailable: Daniel PIORKOWSKI (ankle injury – indefinite), Matt OsmanOSMAN (knee injury – indefinite)
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, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN (c), 16. Terry ANTONIS, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 21. Scott JAMIESON, 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN, 24. Dimitri PETRATOS *two to be omitted*
Out: Nicky Carle (Foot – 3 Weeks), Mark Bridge (Hamstring – 1 Week)
Unavailable: Nicky Carle (Foot – 3 Weeks)