Men’s Match Preview: Round 12 v Adelaide

Melbourne Victory will be aiming to secure their first win of 2023 when they make the trip to Coopers Stadium to take on Adelaide United this weekend.

The second Original Rivalry game of the season has plenty riding on it, with both teams enduring difficult patches of form over recent weeks.

Nonetheless, meetings between Victory and Adelaide rarely disappoint with both sides desperate to get one over their long-time rivals.

Victory will be hoping to rebound from last week’s 1-0 loss to Brisbane Roar, where Luis Nani unfortunately ruptured his ACL in the dying minutes of the game.

The Portuguese legend will be sidelined for an extended period as a result, meaning head coach Tony Popovic must shuffle his pack and adapt his game plan accordingly.

The Reds will undoubtedly pose a major challenge having already beaten Victory this season.

However, three losses in their last four games suggests Adelaide could be vulnerable if Victory can re-find their mojo on Saturday night.

Head Coach Tony Popovic said his side enters the clash with Adelaide, fully aware of the need to win the Adelaide battle.

“In Adelaide, we can’t hide from the fact that you have to win the battle in Adelaide, you have to win those challenges, you have to win those second balls,” Popovic said.

“We should be really confident, but we should also be ambitious in our thoughts in terms of what we can achieve in Adelaide.

“In my mind, we can go there with the attitude of getting three points. We know we’re good enough, we just need to improve of course. We need to have that belief, we need to fight hard.”

Recent history against Adelaide

Original Rivalry clashes have become a regular occurrence in recent years, including plenty of trips across the border for Victory.

2022/23 (Nov 11): Adelaide 3-0 Victory
2021/22 (Apr 2): Adelaide 0-1 Victory
2021/22 (Jan 8): Victory 1-1 Adelaide
Australia Cup QF (Jan 5): Adelaide 1-2 Victory
2021/22 (Dec 11): Adelaide 1-2 Victory

Melbourne Victory Squad

1.Matt ACTON, 2.Jason GERIA, 3.Enrique LOPEZ, 4.Rai MARCHAN, 5.Matt SPIRANOVIC, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 8.Josh BRILLANTE, 10.Bruno FORNAROLI, 11.Ben FOLAMI, 14.Jay BARNETT, 18.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 21.Roderick MIRANDA, 22.Jake BRIMMER, 23. Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 24.Nishan VELUPILLAY, 25.Noah SMITH 26.Lleyton BROOKS, 28.Will Wilson, 30.Ahmad TALEB, 31.Matthew BOZINOVSKI

In: 7.Chris IKONOMIDIS (returns from injury), 25.Noah SMITH (promoted), 31.Matthew BOZINOVSKI (promoted)

Out: 17.Luis NANI (injured)

Unavailable: 20.Paul IZZO (injured)

Match Details

Isuzu UTE A-League – Round 12
Adelaide United v Melbourne Victory
Saturday 14 January
Kick-off: 7.45pm (AEDT)
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Broadcast: 10Bold, Paramount+