Western Untied will take on Adelaide United in its 100th game in the Isuzu UTE A-League on Saturday evening as the finals race continues to heat up.
Isuzu UTE A-League Men Round 16
Saturday, 11 February
Western United vs Adelaide United
Kick-off: 5:00pm AEDT
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live on Paramount+
What’s on throughout the day
John Aloisi could hand Western United debuts to new signings Michael Ruhs and Connor O’Toole after the pair were named in the extended squad for the game.
Both players joined the Club this week and will look to make an impact in their first matches, while Leo Lacroix will make his return from injury.
Western United squad: 1. Jamie YOUNG (gk), 4. Leo LACROIX, 5. Dylan PIERIAS, 6. Tomoki IMAI, 7. Tongo DOUMBIA, 8. Lachie WALES, 9. Michael RUHS, 11. Connor PAIN, 14. James TROISI, 19. Josh RISDON, 23. Alessandro DIAMANTI (c), 24. Connor O’TOOLE, 27. Jacob TRATT, 31. Adisu BAYEW, 33. Ben COLLINS, 37. Ryan SCOTT (gk) 38. Noah BOTIC, 42. Rhys BOZINOVSKI, 88. Neil KILKENNY, 99. Aleksandar PRIJOVIC
Last time out
Western United fell to a narrow 1-0 defeat against Western Sydney Wanderers last time out, with Yeni Ngbakoto’s first-half strike deciding the game.
The result was just United’s second in the last eight matches, and Aloisi will be eager for his side to bounce back immediately to take on the Reds.
Adelaide narrowly leads the head-to-head record with three wins compared to United’s two, while the teams have also drawn twice.
Western United lost the most recent meeting, which came in Round 5 of this season, and will be out to avenge that defeat at AAMI Park.
Key Matchup: Tomoki Imai vs Hiroshi Ibusuki
A couple of Japanese stars will go head to head in this clash with Western United’s Tomoki Imai looking to defend strongly against Adelaide’s Hiroshi Ibusuki.
The Reds’ striker was a constant threat to United the last time the two teams met, scoring a goal and repeatedly putting United’s backline under pressure.
Imai was injured for that fixture but should be involved this time around and will look to keep his compatriot far away from Jamie Young’s goal to give the Green and Black the best chance of winning the game.
Player to Watch: Michael Ruhs
Set to make his Western United debut, Ruhs will be one to watch as he looks to hit the ground running in the Green and Black.
Whether playing from the start or coming off the bench, Ruhs will look to use his blistering pace and eye for goal to make an instant impact.
Western United fans will undoubtedly be excited to see both Ruhs and O’Toole in action as they look to make their first appearances for the Club.
Words from John Aloisi
On the excitement of having three fresh faces join the squad
“It’s always nice to have new faces because it gives everyone a boost around the playing group, because they come in with energy and are excited about being at a new club.
“All three have got different to qualities to what we already have. All three of them will add to our squad.
On seeing the fan support at the 100th game
“We’re looking forward to the game, especially in front of our supporters. Hopefully our supporters come and support us. We need it now, that will help the players even more to hopefully get the result.
“It’s great that the fans are able to celebrate 100 games with us. In our short history, we’ve won a Championship so the fands have been able to enjoy that with us. It’s because of them that we’ve been able to achieve that as well.”