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Feb 24, 2022   |  10:04PM AET

Liberty A-League preview: Adelaide v Victory

Liberty A-League preview: Adelaide v Victory

Match details

Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Saturday, February 26, 2022
Kick-off: 4.50pm AEDT
Broadcast: Paramount+

Preview

Melbourne Victory continues its bid to reach the Liberty A-League Finals Series when it visits Adelaide United on Saturday.

Victory will play a seventh game in 23 days when it takes on the Reds at Coopers Stadium.

Jeff Hopkins’ side is coming off a 2-2 draw away to Canberra United, having scored twice late on to earn a point.

Headers from Alex Chidiac and Tiffany Eliadis saw Victory come from 2-0 down to draw for the second time in a week, having also produced a fightback against Sydney FC.

Chidiac’s goal was her first for Victory, while Eliadis’ was her second of the season.

The result left Victory in fourth on the table, a point behind Adelaide and two clear of Perth Glory with two games left to play in the regular season.

Chidiac started the Canberra clash from the bench, while Alana Murphy missed due to an ankle injury.

It meant Paige Zois and Emma Robers made their first starts in the Liberty A-League.

After visiting Adelaide, Victory finishes the regular season at home to Canberra on March 4.

Player in focus

Courtney Nevin was central to Victory’s comeback in Canberra. The left-back set up both goals in the fightback.

What they said – Hopkins

on squad health…
“Obviously the girls were pretty tired after the game. We travelled back yesterday (Wednesday) and we’ve given them a day off. They’ve all been in for recovery today, but we just gave them a day just to recover and we’ll have everyone in tomorrow, do a bit of work on the field and then we’ll head to Adelaide in the evening. Everyone’s kind of pulled up pretty well from the game. We’re just looking at the girls that couldn’t play, particularly Amy Jackson and also Alana Murphy. Hopefully those two will be not too far away from this weekend, ‘Murph’ especially, might be a little bit early for Amy, but she’s coming on nicely. If she doesn’t make this week, pretty sure we’ll have her back the following week so that’s good news for us. I’m just waiting to hear now what ‘Murph’ is like. She’s been in this morning, she’ll be in this afternoon as well, so we’ll have a better idea of that and then we’ll see where we are in terms of fatigue tomorrow. We’ll have a session on the field and we’ll definitely be trying to put our best team out on the field, but also the team that has most probably got a little bit less fatigue. Some players will be maybe in a bit better position to play physically than others so we’ll obviously take that into account as well.”

on end of long run…
“This is obviously a big game for us and definitely a big game for Adelaide as well and we kind of see it as the last of this long run of games and then we get a little bit of a rest after that, but also time to prepare properly for an opponent, which we haven’t had the ideal amount of time to prepare for each of our opponents on the field. We’ve looked at them and we’ve seen how they play and how we can do things against them, but there’s nothing like actually getting out on the field and preparing as a team with a few training sessions going into a game. The game’s a big game for us obviously and we’ve just got to really stay focused because if we can get a positive result this weekend then we can make things a lot easier for ourselves next week and going into the finals.”

on falling behind in recent games…
“Just in the way that we aren’t putting our opponents under the normal amount of pressure that we do, it’s normally a highlight of our play is the way that we close down and pressure, but also I think if you look at the game a couple of days ago, the goal we conceded 30 seconds before half-time, I think you can put that down to a bit of mental fatigue, and it’s unusual for us. These are things that we’ll address and I don’t see that as a big problem for us. I think in general it’s not been a huge problem for us so I think it’s something that we’ve noticed, it’s something that we will address but I don’t think it’s going to be a big problem for us.”

Last time

Liberty A-League 2021/22 Round 1
Melbourne Victory 5-1 Adelaide United
Sunday, December 5, 2021
AAMI Park, Melbourne

Victory started the season against the Reds and scored four times in the opening 39 minutes through Lia Privitelli, Kayla Morrison, Claudia Bunge and Catherine Zimmerman.

Morrison’s season-ending knee injury soured Victory’s win, which was secured after Privitelli cancelled out a Fiona Worts goal in the second half.

Head to head

Round 1, 2021/22: Victory 5-1 Adelaide at AAMI Park
Round 3, 2020/21: Adelaide 0-1 Victory at Marden Sports Complex
Round 10, 2019/20: Adelaide 0-3 Victory at Marden Sports Complex
Round 8, 2018/19: Adelaide 3-2 Victory at Marden Sports Complex
Round 1, 2018/19: Victory 0-0 Adelaide at AAMI Park