Don’t be fooled: Adelaide are championship contenders

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A meagre loss against a 10-man Melbourne City at home sounds like the kind of performance that would raise a few alarms, and onlookers have sprung quickly to start to questioning the side.

Betting markets show Adelaide United as rank outsiders to raise the toilet lid otherwise known as the Premiers Plate and six teams sit above them in the market for the toilet seat.

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There is cause for concern, but it’s unliekly coach Marco Kurz is worried.

In the match against City, Adelaide were missing their starting centre-back pairing in Ersan Gulum and Taylor Regan, their top scorer Johan Absalonsen and attacking enigma Papa Diawara.

The hosts remained solid though, their fill-ins notably impressive. Ben Warland and Jordan Elsey were stout in defence and dangerous at corner routines, their only mistake being the set-piece they conceded that Ross McCormack netted his second goal on.

In attack Karim Matmour showed talent with some impressive dribbles and quick ball movement while George Blackwood continues to edge closer to his first A-League goal for the club.

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But perhaps their best player on the night was Nathan Konstandopolous. The 21-year-old was uber-impressive in place of Vince Lia, displaying strength, ability and maturity as he controlled the engine room for Adelaide.

The depth is absolutely there but the lingering question of where the goals are coming from remains.

When looking at last weekend’s match United had two-thirds of the possession and fired off 20 shots to Melbourne’s 10, but just one of those hit the target.

It was not as if the Reds were in bad positions.

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Nikola Mileusnic and Jordan O’Doherty both had golden opportunities from no more than 10 yards out to get on the scoresheet, among others.

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Adelaide cannot rely on Vinnie Lia bagging a pair of screamers every weekend, however Absalonsen and Diawara have shown a notable eye for goal in their time at the club and a fully fit Baba may just be what Blackwood needs to kick into gear.

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The 2015/16 Champions are not far from another trophy either. Despite their attacking frailties, the Reds play for their second toilet bowl – also known as the FFA Cup – on the 21st of November.

Adelaide United should unquestionably be considered in the running for the A-League Trophy and fans across the country should remain wary.

For Adelaide supporters, take a leaf out of the Philadelphia 76ers’ playbook and #trusttheprocess.

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Benito Carbone
Benito Carbone
Adelaide-based writer, content creator and story-teller. Like one of those determined ants that require a second flick.

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