Are Adelaide United the real deal? 

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It’s rare to ask if a team sitting in third place in mid-March is the real deal, yet this Adelaide United side has chinks in its armour.

There is no doubt about it, the Reds have been the most exciting side in the A-League Men’s competition by the length of the Flemington straight this season. 

There has been Craig Goodwin magic, departures of key players, last-minute goals and some woeful performances. 

It has been a bit of everything this season, but still, they sit in third place and stare down another finals appearance. 

But are they the real deal? 

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Will the last-minute heroics hold up? 

After the 84th minute is money time for the Reds, and they have made a name for themselves as the comeback kings all season long. 

Adelaide have come from behind to salvage a draw on four separate occasions, they also have hit the front to secure the full three points on four separate occasions. 

No lead is safe against the Reds. 

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However, are these comebacks a positive or a negative?  

The type of lucky football that the Reds have been playing this season is not a winning formula, and it won’t stack up in finals. 

In the last three A-League Men’s finals series, the team that has scored first has won 13 of the 14 games. 

The Reds must fix up their sleepy starts, otherwise this will be another short finals run. 

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Will their strikers score in the biggest moments? 

Hiroshi Ibusuki was a revelation when he joined United mid-season, scoring two goals in his first 64 minutes of A-League Men’s action.  

United also have the returning George Blackwood this season, who has scored two ALM goals so far. 

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It is undoubted that these two centre forwards have immense talent, and with their size, can do damage with their feet or above their head. 

Yet goals have dried up rather fast between these two and United are struggling with their number nine position. 

Ibusuki continues to provide everything that a centre forward should, yet the delivery he receives leaves a lot to be desired – and the Reds still cross the ball more than any other team in the league. 

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Goodwin and Bernardo have struggled with their crossing this season, and have rather made success from their own ability to cut in. 

But the Reds need to fix their deliveries into the box to give their starved centre forwards a chance. 

Featured image credit: Jordan Trombetta

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Cameron Ottenhoff
Cameron Ottenhoff
Sport, media and communications student at Flinders University in Adelaide. I was forced to hang the boots up at a young age after discovering I'm no good at sport, so now I just talk about it instead.

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