Sydney FC travel to Adelaide this weekend, as they face Adelaide United on Sunday at 2:00pm (Sydney time) in their first Liberty A-League match since the AFC Club Championship.
After their stint in Uzbekistan, which saw the Sky Blues make history and record wins for the first time in Asian competition, they will return to the Liberty A-League where they will want to earn three points and climb up the ladder with all teams now playing two more matches than them.
In their previous A-League outing, Sydney FC suffered a loss against the Brisbane Roar although the Sky Blues dominated possession and created clear-cut chances that troubled the Brisbane keeper. In the Sky Blue’s most recent match, they were defeated by the Hyundai Red Steel Angels, although they had strong on-target attempts and valiant saves made by Jada Whyman kept the scoreline respectable. Their quality Korean opponents dominated possession throughout the game however, when Sydney had the ball their attack was creative, something that team will need to build upon if they are to defeat the Adelaide outfit.
Although the Sky Blues played three games in the space of a week, no players managed to pick up an injury. In fact, Sydney FC will welcome the return of midfielder Sienna Saveska after she missed playing in the continental tournament. However, Ante Juric’s side will have to sweat on the fitness of Courtnee Vine after she was unable to offer her selection for the AFC Club Championship due to a calf niggle.
For Adelaide United, they may be without forward Emilia Murray after she picked up an ankle injury. But despite this, Adelaide United have failed to win a game in their A-League campaign, sitting at the bottom of the table with the Wanderers and Canberra United.
Last week, Adelaide United demonstrated belief in their defence against Perth Glory epically after they held the Glory to nil after nine goal attempts in the first half. However, Adelaide United made sloppy errors, which led them onto a 2-1 defeat which has become common across their season which Sydney FC will want to expose to get on the score sheet.
The Sky Blues previous match against Adelaide United saw Sydney FC defeat the Reds 3-0 in a performance that saw the Sky Blues attack aggressively with 29 shots recorded alone. Although the line-up does look a different to the team that Sydney FC had back in March, the Sky Blues will aim to do what they did in Asia which involved slotting through balls and playing the match at their upbeat pace. Adelaide United are happy to sit back and defend, so Sydney FC will have to be creative and flexible, if they are to score against the Reds.
Key Matchup – Fiona Worts vs Annalee Grove
In the first game where Fiona Worts returns to her former-club, she will come face-to-face with her old teammate Annalee Grove.
Last week Grove demonstrated her ability against the Glory diving and reaching across the net, in order to deny Glory an opener for 50 minutes. She was able to stop shots from the Glory attack especially from outside of the box, and that is something Fiona Worts will have to keep in mind if she is to attempt a goal from that range.
Worts had a stunning Asian campaign with the Sky Blues, scoring four of the five of the Sky Blue’s goals. Coming back to Australia, she will play against her former side for the first time for the Sky Blues since the move from Adelaide, and will be out to add to her 19 goals she has scored in the country. Don’t be surprised if you see Worts weaving through the defensive line of Adelaide or smacking the ball into the bottom corner of the net from a single touch.
With both these players knowing their strengths and weaknesses from training and playing together for two seasons, Worts may play a little differently to what fans have seen over the past week in order to find a goal against the Adelaide keeper, and that is sure to be a fascinating watch.
Sydney FC vs Adelaide United
Liberty A-League Round 5
Sunday 19th November 2023
Marden Sports Complex, Marden, SA
Kick Off: 2:00pm (Sydney Time), 1:30pm (Local Time)
Broadcast Live: Paramount+ and 10Play
Tickets: Click here