The Best of the Day preview takes it to the hole with A-League tips for the crucial final-round opener between Adelaide and Western Sydney Wanderers.
19:35 (AEST) @ Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
History: Played 27: Adelaide 10 V Western Sydney 8 (9 Draws)
Last meeting: April 10, 2021: 1-1 draw at Coopers Stadium
Final thoughts: The Best of the Day preview breaks down a high-stakes A-League encounter, with Adelaide United aiming to seal the top-six picture with one weekend of the regular season remaining.
A win or draw against out-of-contention Western Sydney Wanderers will be enough for Adelaide to confirm their spot in the playoffs. Currently sixth, United could jump up to third on the ladder with a win (though each of the teams they’d leapfrog still have a game in hand).
— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) June 2, 2021
Seventh-placed Wellington Phoenix will be glued to their TVs for this game. They are three points behind Adelaide but with a superior goal differential. If United lose, the Phoenix will sneak into the finals with a win over Macarthur FC tomorrow.
Adelaide’s recent form has been patchy, losing three of their last five. After securing a 1-0 win over struggling Melbourne Victory, the Reds were hammered 4-1 at home by Sydney FC on Saturday.
Congratulations to Yaya Dukuly on his first @ALeague goal. 👏
— Adelaide United (@AdelaideUnited) May 29, 2021
United have scored just six goals in their past eight games. They leaked 12 during that time, despite keeping four clean sheets.
Wanderers’ finals bid fell apart courtesy of a three-match losing streak in mid-May. But they are coming off a 2-0 home win over Brisbane on Sunday afternoon, which saw Bruce Kamau score his fourth goal in six games.
— WS Wanderers FC (@wswanderersfc) May 31, 2021
Remarkably, the home team has tasted victory just three times in these clubs’ last 18 matches. Wanderers have picked up two wins and three draws in their last five visits to Adelaide.
The rivals have met twice this season. Adelaide came away from BankWest Stadium with a 3-2 victory in February. They drew 1-all at Coopers Stadium in April after Simon Cox’s 68th-minute goal for WSW cancelled out Tomi Juric’s early opener.
United’s attacking drop-off is a concern. But with everything on the line and only a point required, they should be about to knuckle down and secure a low-scoring result with a conservative game-plan.