Is it panic time yet for winless Adelaide?

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After seven rounds of the new A-League season and with just two points to their name, things are starting to get sticky for reigning premiers Adelaide United.

A 3-1 loss last weekend to Perth Glory only served to compound a miserable start to the season for the Reds, who now hold the unwanted record of the worst start to a season by the defending champions.

Winless in seven and with only two draws to their name, they pip then title-holders Sydney FC’s 2010/11 start to the season as the worst on record.

So where has it gone wrong for a side that was widely tipped to contend once again after some shrewd transfer business over the break?

On paper the Adelaide squad looks even stronger than their title-winning team, with Sergi Guardiola and Ben Garuccio bolstering the ranks among others.

They certainly haven’t been helped by injuries, with a list that’s only bettered by Newcastle Jets, and it may grow even more after the weekend’s fixture with a possible injury to Guardiola.

Injuries aside, Adelaide need an answer to their current defensive woes after being so strong at the back last year – an impressive record of 28 conceded in 27 matches in the 2015/16 regular season.

However, their form so far this season paints a different picture, having already conceded 13 goals in seven matches while failing to keep a clean sheet.

The potency of their attack of late is equally concerning, with the side having only registered two shots on target in as many games.

While the stats don’t tell the full story, especially given their impressive display at home to an in-form Brisbane Roar in Round 6 and a few contentious decisions against them along the way, a trip to league leaders Sydney FC this Saturday night may only compound the misery for now.

Adelaide will be without coach Guillermo Amor for the trip to Sydney after the Spaniard was sent to the stands against Perth, while young midfielder Jordan O’Doherty serves a one match ban for the red card he picked up in the same game.

The good news for Adelaide is that they only sit five points behind 6th place Western Sydney Wanderers and a potential finals berth.

We know that the Reds have quality in their team, as well as the pedigree to launch a winning streak, so it will be just a matter of time before they pick up a long awaited three points.

Will it start against Sydney FC though? All signs points to no, but stranger things have happened this year.

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