It’s the Isuzu UTE A-League Men season finale this weekend, as Western United travels to face Adelaide United with everything on the line at the top of the league.
Adelaide United vs Western United
Sunday, 8 May
Kick-off: 6:20pm AEST (5:50pm local time)
Coopers Stadium, Adelaide
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live on Paramount+
Adelaide United: LWWWW
Western United: LWWLD
Adelaide United is playing to ensure a home elimination final and comes into the match in strong form with four wins on the bounce.
The Reds have been a streaky team in recent weeks with a period of three losses in the four games directly before that winning run. Carl Veart’s side have become masters of scoring late goals, scoring goals in the final five minutes in eight games to secure wins or draws.
Western United’s club record-breaking season has led it all the way to the final round, where John Aloisi’s side could clinch the Premier’s Plate with a win.
United drew with Newcastle Jets and lost to Central Coast Mariners in its last two games, but prior to that enjoyed a flawless trip to Tasmania with wins over Perth Glory and Macarthur FC.
The Green and Black has shattered club records in points gained and wins in a single season and is looking to write more history as the Finals approach.
Western United edged ahead in the head-to-head record with Adelaide United after winning the only match against the Reds so far this season.
That was all the way back in Round 5 in December and was a win that clinched a club-record winning streak of four victories in succession.
The first two meetings were full of goals with Adelaide winning the first one 4-3 and United claiming an emphatic 5-1 victory in the second game before a pair of 0-0 draws in the 2020/21 season.
Aloisi confirmed on Friday that after limping off in the draw against Newcastle, Dylan Pierias was a chance to be involved after a scan on his ankle returned all clear.
United’s head coach said that Josh Risdon could be fit enough to return to the squad for the first time since March, while Adisu Bayew will be touch and go to play after picking up a knock to his calf in the Jets game.
Leo Lacroix is suspended for the clash after receiving his eighth yellow card of the season against Newcastle; all this meaning that there could be opportunities for players to step up and play a big role in one of the Club’s biggest ever games to date.
What John Aloisi is saying
On approaching the final weekend of the season with the Premier’s Plate on the line
“You play at the start of the season to be alive if you can right at the end of the season, and we’re there. The pressure is not on us, the pressure is on them, and it’s been on them since the start of the season.
“We know there’s things that can happen on the final weekend that we can only focus on what we can control, and that’s trying to get the result we need. And how exciting, not only for the top three but for the top six as well.”
On dealing with the pressure of the situation
“Every group is different, every individual is different. Some individuals like the pressure, some can’t cope as well. I like pressure, pressure is always there because you put it on yourself. But as a group, sometimes it’s easier not having to play thinking you have to win. We don’t have to win, we want to win as a Club, as a group, but we know that we have to put on a performance capable of doing that, and that’s what we want.
“For us, we’re on a journey, we want wo win, we believe we’re good enough to win, but the pressure is not on us.”
On if he has felt the fanbase growing as a result of United’s success on the pitch
“I have felt it, and I’m sure the club’s felt it as well. Just the support and everyone being proud of what we’re doing and what we’re achieving and the way we’re going about it, you feel that.”