Adelaide United v Brisbane Roar
IT'S time for finals football in Australia as the A-League comes towards a scintillating climax. This elimination final sees fourth placed finishing Adelaide United host a Brisbane side who clung on to fifth spot after a less than impressive season as defending champions.
With a semi-final spot up for grabs against an awaiting Mariners or Wanderers outfit who can grab the glory Down Under?
After only managing five wins last campaign,= a lot of credit has to go to former manager John Kosmina who got Adelaide off to a fantastic start to the season. However, spending seven of the first eight weeks top of the table as well as winning six of their first eight games wasn’t enough for him to stay on at the club who claimed a “lack of trust” in his management. Since then interim manager Michael Valkanis has stepped in and The Reds' form has spiralled ever since.
In winning only two of their last 11 games Adelaide slid down the table finishing in fourth spot with fans at the Hindmarsh Stadium expecting improvement. Now in desperate need of form they face a resurgent Roar looking to turn the table on its head after six points separated these sides in the regular season.
Striker Jeronimo Neumann has shown glimpses of brilliance in his debut season despite only netting a modest seven goals. The former Barnsley employee has scored all of his goals at the Hindmarsh Stadium and will be looking to put one past Theoklitos on Sunday morning.
There is no doubt the visitors are the form team. The defending champions have lost only two of their last 10 matches after making a dismal start to this year's campaign and snuck into the finals series through the back door after consecutive wins over Sydney and Melbourne Heart.
Like Adelaide, The Roar made a managerial change halfway through the season, but this time to good effect. Mike Mulvey has won more games than he’s lost since stepping in late December and many feel he has warranted the two-year contract he has been offered by the club.
In striker Besart Berisha the visitors will certainly trouble the Adelaide defence, however last year's golden boot winner hasn’t quite been able to replicate the stunning form he showed in the 11-12 season. With 14 goals to his name as well as two in his last two outings, The Roar will know the Albanian will have to be on top of his game if they are to sneak into the semi-finals.
Back Brisbane Roar to win @ 2.46