ALM Match Preview: Western United vs Adelaide United

Matthew Grimaldi Western United A-League Men

Western United will play its final home match of the 2023/24 Isuzu UTE A-League Men season, hosting Adelaide United in Tarneit on Tuesday night.

Match Details

Isuzu UTE A-League Men Round 13 (rescheduled)

Western United vs Adelaide United

Tuesday, 16 April

Kick-off: 7:00pm AEDT

Regional Football Facility, Tarneit

Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live on Paramount+

Western United Team News

Tomoki Imai is back from suspension and will make history as he moves to the top of Western United’s all-time appearances list.

The Japanese defender is in line to play his 106th Isuzu UTE A-League appearance in Green and Black, surpassing Connor Pain’s total of 105. Incidentally, Lachie Wales will join Pain on 105 on Tuesday.

Josh Risdon is also back from suspension while there is a first call-up to an Isuzu UTE A-League extended squad for Abel Walatee.

The 20-year-old winger could be the 11th first-team debutant out of the Western United Academy this season, with John Aloisi again naming a squad full of young talents.

Kane Vidmar is ruled out after he sustained a concussion and was substituted at half-time against Central Coast Mariners on Saturday.

Western United squad: 1. Tom HEWARD-BELLE (gk), 4. James DONACHIE, 6. Tomoki IMAI, 8. Lachie WALES, 9. Michael RUHS, 10. Steven LUSTICA, 17. Ben GARUCCIO, 19. Josh RISDON, 21. Sebastian PASQUALI, 24. Connor O’TOOLE, 32. Angus THURGATE, 33. Matt SUTTON (gk), 36. Zach LISOLAJSKI, 37. Luke VICKERY, 39. Matthew GRIMALDI, 41. Oliver LAVALE, 43. Khoder KADDOUR, 45. Abel WALATEE, 49. Jake NAJDOVSKI, 77. Riku DANZAKI

Full Western United squad

Last time out

Despite positive moments throughout the game, Western United couldn’t pick up consecutive home wins, falling to a 2-0 defeat to Central Coast Mariners on Saturday.

Both goals came in the second half to condemn United to the loss, though Aloisi and his players will take positives into a short turnaround to face the Reds on Tuesday.

Previous Meetings

Western United started very well in its meetings with Adelaide United with two wins, two draws and one defeat in the first five outings.

Since then, though, the Reds have taken control with five wins from the next six fixtures, including two this season.

The Green and Black will be hoping to snap that run and pick up three points to please the fans at the end of the season.

Key Matchup: Matthew Grimaldi vs Nestory Irankunda

Two wonderkids will lock horns in this contest and Matthew Grimaldi will be eager to outshine Nestory Irankunda on the night.

Irankunda scored a hat-trick against United a couple of weeks ago, but Grimaldi and his teammates will be keen to ensure the same doesn’t happen on Green and Black territory.

Grimaldi has enjoyed a stellar maiden campaign in professional football and signed a three-year contract extension with Western United last week.

The 20-year-old scored a memorable goal in the team’s opener at the Regional Football Facility and will be hoping for a similar performance.

Irankunda remains Australia’s most exciting and most talked about footballing prospect with pace, skill and a wicked shot on his right boot.

The West will be ready to welcome him for his final game in Victoria before he heads to Bayern Munich, and Grimaldi and co will be looking to outshine him on the way to a win.

Western United Player to Watch: Tomoki Imai

After suspension robbed him of the chance to play at the Regional Football Facility the last two weeks, Imai will step out onto the home pitch for the first time and make history for Western United.

One of four remaining players from the inaugural season that have seen the journey through to Tarneit, Imai has exemplified everything about Western United since joining in 2020.

Imai will be desperate to record a win in this milestone match and with a first opportunity to play at home in Tarneit, there is bound to be some extra motivation from Western United’s No.6.