David Zdrilic’s A-League Round 25 Preview: Adelaide Going For Glory With Third Win In A Row

Adelaide United v Perth | Friday, March 31, 7.50pm (AEDT), Coopers Stadium, Adelaide

After a terrible season to date, all of sudden, Adelaide have hit form and are going for three wins in a row.

Their new signing Papa Diawara (pictured below) has been a big help netting three goals in his last two games, including two in their 3-2 win over the Mariners on Saturday.

Perth are trending in the opposite direction and conceded another three against Sydney to bring their season tally to an enormous 47 goals against, the most in the A-League.

Their loss could have been worse if the Sky Blues took all the chances they created.

KEY BATTLE: Papa Diawara v Diego Castro

Papa has been a breath of fresh air for the Reds and with all strikers, once they hit a purple patch, the goals keep rolling in.

Castro was Perth’s best player in what was a disappointing night against Sydney and will look to add to his 10 goals and four assists against Adelaide.

The Verdict 

The Reds have lost twice to Perth this season and will want to get some revenge.

They’ve had a terrible season and have the chance to finish off the campaign on a high.

Unibet Odds: Adelaide United 2.55 Draw 3.75 Perth 2.62

Tip: Adelaide United 

Correct score: Adelaide United 2-1 

Newcastle v Western Sydney | Saturday, April 1, 5.35pm (AEDT), McDonald Jones Stadium

The Jets were smashed 5-0 by a depleted Phoenix outfit who were missing seven regulars on international duty.

This was a match they were expected to win and keep their finals hope alive but coach Mark Jones was left frustrated once again. 

The Wanderers are hitting top form right in time for the finals. Their latest victim was the star-studded Melbourne City with Brendon Santalab netting a hat-trick.

Unfortunately, Santalab will miss this fixture because of a suspension, so it’s time his teammates shared the load.

KEY BATTLE: Nigel Boogard v Nico Martinez

The Jets captain has a big job on his hands trying to bring the team together and finish the season on a high note.

Martinez (pictured above) missed a great chance against City and without Santa, he’ll need to get his shooting boots on for this one.

The Verdict 

The Wanderers have built up momentum and are playing great football. They’ll be too strong for Newcastle.

Unibet Odds: Newcastle 3.10 Draw 3.65 Western Sydney 2.25

Tip: Western Sydney 

Correct score:

Sydney FC v Melbourne City | Saturday, April 1, 7.50pm (AEDT), Allianz Stadium, Sydney 

Sydney FC deservingly sealed the Premier’s Plate with their 3-0 victory over Glory and are now 14 points ahead of Victory in second spot.

This is an incredibly impressive achievement in a salary cap environment and they have barely put a foot wrong all season.

It’s certainly one of the best ever-regular seasons from a Premier’s Plate winner and the task now is to keep up their form and intensity in the lead up to the finals.

Melbourne City are coming off a loss to the Wanderers and need to bounce back if they want to hang on to third spot and a home final.

They have a good record against Sydney having beaten them twice and drawn the other of their three meetings so far this season.  

KEY BATTLE: Alex Brosque v Bruno Fornaroli

Brosque has been outstanding this season and is a key reason why the Sky Blues have dominated this season.

He has good feet, a clinical finish and is an intelligent presser.

Fornaroli (pictured above) was kept quiet against the Wanderers and would love nothing more than to silence the league leaders.

The Verdict 

Sydney saw off Perth with ease and will keep their run going into the finals

Unibet Odds: Sydney FC 1.77 Draw 3.95 Melbourne City 4.50

Tip: Sydney FC 

Correct score: Sydney FC 3-1 

Melbourne Victory v Wellington | Sunday, April 2, 5pm (AEDT), AAMI Park

Victory are locked into second spot with no hope of advancing their position.

Kevin Muscat’s focus will now be on making sure his team is primed for finals football.

He was without his key frontmen against the Roar so he’ll be pleased to have a full squad to pick from again.

Phoenix also welcome back their international stars, but they might find it hard to get back into the side after their impressive display against the Jets.

Finkler, Barbarouses and Bonavaccia all scored but consistency has been a problem for Wellington, so this will be another test.

Victory are locked into second spot with no hope of advancing their position.

Kevin Muscat’s focus will now be on making sure his team is primed for finals football.

He was without his key frontmen against the Roar, so he’ll be pleased to have a full squad to pick from again.

KEY BATTLE: Carl Valeri v Kosta Barbarouses

Valeri is tasked with keeping the midfield tight and protecting the back four and he’ll have to make sure his ex-teammate Barbarouses (pictured above) doesn’t add to his five goals this season.

The Verdict

Victory are strong at home while Phoenix are unpredictable. Melbourne won 6-1 the last time they met and this will be another win on home soil.

Unibet Odds: Melbourne Victory 1.57 Draw 4.40 Wellington 5.65

Tip: Melbourne Victory 

Correct score: Melbourne Victory 3-1

Brisbane v Central Coast | Sunday, April 2, 7pm (AEDT), Suncorp Stadium, Brisbane

Roar defeated Victory 1-0 over the weekend and still have a lot to play for with third spot up for grabs.

Brisbane’s form dropped in recent weeks after a horror schedule but they’ll be delighted with the three points and want to avoid any slip-ups against Central Coast.

The Mariners dropped to the bottom of the ladder after their 3-2 loss to Adelaide.

That was their third straight loss and they now have an uphill battle to try to avoid finishing last for the second year running.

KEY BATTLE: Jamie Maclaren v Roy O'Donovan

Maclaren scored his 15th goal of the season against Victory while O’Donovan (pictured above) netted his 11th against Adelaide.  

If Roar want to finish third, they need to beat the Mariners and after their home win over Victory, they should be too strong for Paul Okon's men. 

Unibet Odds: Brisbane 1.43 Draw 5.00 Central Coast 7.00

Tip: Brisbane 

Correct score: Brisbane 2-1 

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