tribalfootball previews this weekend's A-League semi-finals.
Adelaide United, coming off the back of a win against defending champions Brisbane Roar, will go into the match with a whole heap of momentum as they hope to reach the A-League final for the first time since 2009.
The Reds have an incredible record against Sydney FC, and in particular at the Sydney Football Stadium where they have won three times this season. United have also gone unbeaten in their last seven meetings with the Sky Blues across all competitions.
Adelaide will be close to full-strength for the clash, with Bruce Djite still recovering from a groin strain that sidelined him last week against Brisbane. However Djite is expected to play some part in the match and provide an outlet in attack, hoping to add to his season tally of six goals. James Jeggo is also another concern for United as he limped out of training on Tuesday, but is expected to be fit.
Sydney welcome back Terry Antonis for the first time in two months after a knee injury and the talented midfielder is expected to feature.
Against Brisbane last week, United looked impressive going forward but were constantly exposed at the back by the Roar. A key player in the tie this week will be Marcelo Carrusca, who only managed to last 60 minutes last week, but was probably the best player on the park. Carrusca's presence will be essential to United's attack by helping them rack up possession whilst creating many chances in the final third.
Sydney have to go into the match as favourites though, after an impressive season where they managed to finish second, only three points behind premiers Victory. The pace of Bernie Ibini and Alex Brosque will surely hurt the United defence on the counter attack and the clinical finishing of Golden Boot winner Marc Janko should be enough to seal the tie for the Sky Blues.
What's sure is that it will be an entertaining clash between two teams who have been so impressive throughout the season, but in my opinion there's only one winner and that's Sydney FC.