Match Preview: Sydney FC v Adelaide United

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The equation for Sydney FC on Tuesday night is simple – win, as their much-anticipated finals fate will remain completely out of their hands regardless of the result.

This clash at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium has all the makings for an enthralling encounter, with season-defining implications for both teams.

Sydney FC and Adelaide United currently sit fourth and fifth respectively in the A-League Men and are equal on 31 points, with the Reds boasting a game in hand over the Sky Blues.

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Sydney will be seeing out the last game from their five-match run played over the course of 16 days, before departing for Vietnam the following morning in time for the group stage of the AFC Champions League.

The nightmare run of fixtures has seen a truly mixed bag of results for the Sky Blues. Ranging from a draw against Macarthur FC and a five-goal thriller in their Sydney derby victory, all before a four-goal drubbing at the hands of Melbourne City on Wednesday, only to reverse the cycle and put an extra goal past Central Coast Mariners on Saturday in a 5-0 win.

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Adelaide United, on the other hand, have seen a much easier run of games as of late, having not played a mid-week fixture since March 16.

That night, in which they lost 2-1 to Western Sydney Wanderers, was coincidentally when their four-match winless streak began, before snapping it with a one-goal victory against Macarthur on Friday night.

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Despite lamenting the “very difficult” run of games for his side following the Sydney derby, Sky Blues head coach Steve Corica insisted that his side cannot afford to slow down ahead of their clash with Adelaide, and will instead need to keep up the momentum which saw them bag five goals in Gosford on Saturday.

“I wouldn’t say we took our feet off the gas (against the Mariners), I would say we just rested a few players – we had the opportunity to do that,” Corica said.

“But we wanted to score more goals.

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I think it showed even when Bobo came on and he got his goal, so we’re just full steam ahead at the moment.”

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Speaking ahead of the Sky Blues’ clash with Macarthur two weeks ago, Corica claimed that his players “enjoyed” the constant flow of fixtures, accounting for the all-out mentality of the Sydneysiders with their season being effectively on the line on Tuesday.

“(There’s) no time to rest,” Corica said on Monday.

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“We had recovery yesterday, the boys pulled up really well actually – all of them, so they’re all keen and raring to go for the Adelaide game.

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(It’s) crucial.”

But just how crucial is it?

What the game means for both teams

A win for Sydney will keep them temporarily in fourth position, but the problems will not stop there. Having to wait until May 7 for their next ALM fixture, the Sky Blues will have to nervously await impending results from Vietnam as their competition, right down to ninth-placed Newcastle Jets, will try and can mathematically catch up to them.

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Similarly, a win for Adelaide will elevate them to fourth position and above the Sky Blues on the ladder. Albeit, with Wellington Phoenix and Macarthur hot on their heels, with games in hand and trailing by one and two points respectively, it is just as much a do-or-die clash for the South Australians as it is for the Sky Blues.

Feature Image Credit: Jordan Trombetta

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Jimmy Alexander
Jimmy Alexander
Covering Sydney FC for the 2021/22 A-League season. Studying a Bachelor of Sports Media (Journalism) at Charles Sturt University.

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