Round 6 National Premier League Preview
West Torrens Birkalla v West Adelaide
South Australia National Premier League Round 6
When: Saturday, March 22nd Kick-off 3pm
Where: Jack Smith Park, Morphett Road, NOVAR GARDENS
West Torrens Birkalla: J. AtkinsonJ. BralicJ. CirilloT. DittmarJ. FuscoD. GuastellaM. HussainA. MitterA. MiyayamaN. MunroS. NagelT. NelsonD. ScalameraA. SortiniD. ThorntonJ. TorresanA. TropianoR. VeitchM. Yeing
West Adelaide: M. AlexandrouN. AndijantoT. BriscoeJ. CumminsR. Da SilvaJ. FabbianT. GuttormsenN. KoskoletosK. MantisL. MillerL. MossP. PezosJ. PorterY. SarrisJ. SpadavecchiaK. TsacosE. VlassisJ. WatsonJ. WatsonJ. Wright
West Torrens Birkalla: L L L
Round 3: MetroStars 2-1 West Torrens Birkalla, TK Shutter Reserve
Round 4: West Torrens Birkalla 2-4 Raiders, Jack Smith Park
Round 5: Campbelltown City 2-0 West Torrens Birkalla, Steve Woodcock Sports Centre
West Adelaide: W W W
Round 3: West Adelaide 1-0 South Adelaide, Adelaide Shores Football Centre
Round 4: White City 1-2 West Adelaide, Frank Mitchell Park
Round 5: Cumberland United 1-2 West Adelaide, A.A Bailey Reserve
West Torrens Birkalla face an uphill task to turn their form around when they host leaders West Adelaide in Round 6 of the South Australia Premier League at Jack Smith Park on Saturday.
Birkalla slumped to their third defeat in succession last time out, losing 2-0 versus Campbelltown City.
Yet coach Mike Barnett says they can take positives from the contest.
“We played well and should have won to be honest,” stated Barnett.
“We’ve had a difficult start. Not having a full squad to choose from and a few lapses in games hasn’t helped.
“We have been close. A game like against Raiders for example, we led early but failed to capitalise on our chances after that. That about sums us up right now.”
Birkalla have won just once this term and are in the midst of a run in which they take on three of the current top four.
According to Barnett, the team remain upbeat as they face the League leaders.
“The guys are very positive. We have to stay that way, we know we are playing well enough. Unfortunately, it’s only for 45-60 minutes at this stage. We need to put in for a full game.
“West Adelaide are the leaders and have a quality squad. We have a chance to test ourselves against the best team. They are the benchmark, so this is a big one for us at home.”
Leaders West Adelaide have won four consecutive matches, with Nathan Andijanto netting a double to topple Cumberland United in Round 5.
However, coach Ross Aloisi wasn’t overly impressed with that, or recent performances.
“It wasn’t too bad, I think we did ok,” mused Aloisi.
“We missed a lot of chances, but all in all we were decent without ever being spectacular.
“We are getting results, but I’m not overly happy with the way we’ve been playing. We have been good in certain periods, but still have room to improve.”
Newly promoted West are the only remaining undefeated side in the Premier League heading into the sixth match. They currently lead the competition by a point.
As they prepare to take on Birkalla, Aloisi says there are no issues with complacency in the squad.
“No doubt it has been a good start, but the players realise where I’m at and my expectations. We played well in pre-season and want to get to those levels again.
“Mike Barnett always has a competitive side. It will be tough and we know teams that come up against us want to prove a point. It will depend on our focus and if we play to our best.”
Elsewhere on Saturday, inconsistent Adelaide City take on a Western Strikers outfit at Adelaide City Park buoyed by their first win.
The black and whites – one of three teams on eight points - have picked up just four from the last three matches. Strikers are off the bottom after an emphatic win last week and will look to build on that.
Adelaide Comets are gathering momentum as they host the unpredictable Raiders at Santos Stadium.
Jim Karatzas’ side have recovered from a slow start to win two matches in succession, including a victory at MetroStars last weekend. Raiders are looking to bounce back from a big loss versus Croydon and kick-start their season.
Both Adelaide Blue Eagles and Cumberland United are attempting to return to the winners list at Marden Sports Complex.
Blue Eagles fell to White City last week and dropped to fourth on the ladder in the process. The Foxes are without a win since the opening round, being on the wrong end of three successive 2-1 results.
It’s eighth against seventh as Para Hills host MetroStars at The Paddocks, both smarting from defeats last weekend.
The Knights fell to a crushing loss against Western Strikers and have conceded eight goals in the past two games. MetroStars were shocked by Comets for what was their first reverse of the season.
White City have opened their season account and take on the winless South Adelaide at Frank Mitchell Park.
The Warriors downed Blue Eagles to notch their maiden win of the campaign, also climbing to 10th spot. The Panthers are bottom and while without a win, did snap a three-match losing streak against Adelaide City.
Croydon and Campbelltown City are both a point off the lead as they prepare to square-off at Polonia Reserve.
The Kings returned to the winners list with a decisive triumph against Raiders last week and are above Campbelltown on goal difference. The Champions have won four matches on the trot, most recently downing Birkalla.
Saturday March 22
Adelaide City v Western Strikers
3pm - Adelaide City Park, Corner Fosters Road & Hilltop Drive, OAKDEN
Adelaide Comets v Raiders
3pm - Santos Stadium, Railway Terrace, MILE END
Adelaide Blue Eagles v Cumberland United
3pm - Marden Sports Complex, Lower Portrush Road, MARDEN
Para Hills v MetroStars
3pm - The Paddocks, Bridge Road, PARA HILLS
White City v South Adelaide
7pm - Frank Mitchell Park, Minns Street, WOODVILLE WEST
Croydon v Campbelltown City
7pm - Polonia Reserve, Essex Crescent, CROYDON PARK