Round 14 National Premier League Preview - Adelaide City v West Adelaide
Adelaide City v West Adelaide
South Australia National Premier League Round 14
When: Friday, May 23rd, Kick-off 7:30pm
Where: Adelaide City Park, Corner Fosters Road & Hilltop Drive, OAKDEN
Adelaide City: M. Acton, J. Allwright, P. Blefari, N. Bucco, N. Budin, S. Day, M. Halliday, T. Love, M. Mullen, L. Ostbye, A. Rideout, A. Sunasky, S. Tobias
West Adelaide: M. Alexandrou, N. Andijanto, T. Briscoe, R. Da Silva, T. Guttormsen, M. Hiern, K. Mantis, L. Moss, P. Pezos, J. Porter, Y. Sarris, E. Vlassis, J. Watson, J. Wright
Adelaide City: W L L
Round 11: Adelaide City 3-0 West Torrens Birkalla, Adelaide City Park
Round 12: Campbelltown City 1-0 Adelaide City, Steve Woodcock Sports Centre
Round 13: Adelaide City 1-3 Croydon, Adelaide City Park
West Adelaide: W W D
Round 11: West Adelaide 2-0 MetroStars, Adelaide Shores Football Centre
Round 12: Raiders 0-1 West Adelaide, Croatian Sports Centre
Round 13: West Adelaide 1-1 Campbelltown City, Adelaide Shores Football Centre
Just a week before their historic Coca-Cola Federation Cup Final clash, rivals Adelaide City and West Adelaide meet in Round 14 of the South Australia National Premier League at Adelaide City Park on Friday.
Currently seventh, City have stumbled in recent weeks, losing successive matches to fall four points outside the top six. Last weekend they slipped up at home to Croydon.
Yet Nick Budin says they remain confident of reaching a Finals place.
“The performance was embarrassing. We did so well against them in the Cup, but didn’t go out there well last week,” said the veteran.
“We needed the points, but perhaps our recent busy schedule caught up to us.
“We’ve done well in the Cup against many of the big clubs and I think once we start gelling even more we’ll show what we can do.”
City and West started the season with an entertaining draw and are set to meet in consecutive weeks between the Premier League and Coca-Cola Federation Cup.
Budin says the focus is only on this weekend given their current position.
“We need the points, so our only thought is on this match. Next week doesn’t come into it at all.
“It will definitely be tough. I’m looking forward to a clash against a good West Adelaide side.
“I know all about the rivalry but haven’t played against them for a while. Certainly it’s a big few weeks for the clubs.”
West Adelaide saw a four-match winning run halted by reigning champions Campbelltown City, but Joel Porter’s men remain four points clear at the top of the table.
Jace Cummins said it was fair result.
“After our midweek Cup game the boys played fairly well. Campbelltown came out firing and put us on the back foot, but we came back strong in the second half,” Cummins said.
“I think lately we’ve been good without being great. The aim is to consistently get points. We are happy with the way we have been playing.”
West have headed the table for most of the campaign, scoring in every match. Yet they are refusing to look beyond the return meeting against their historic rival.
Cummins says they need to keep their positive League form going.
“We’ve done nothing so far. It’s only half a season, we have to keep going.
“Next week is not part of the plans. You have to try and win every game. They are all important, one slip and you’re back in the pack.
“City are a dangerous side. It’s a younger one than in recent years. They have that youth and the pace to go with it and that suits Damian’s style perfectly.”
Elsewhere on Saturday, Cumberland United will aim to build from their breakthrough win against fellow strugglers Western Strikers at A.A Bailey Reserve.
The clubs are separated by just two points after the Foxes ended a 12-game winless run against Para Hills, although they remain bottom. Strikers have drawn their past two matches.
In another clash between two lower half sides, West Torrens Birkalla are seeking to return to the winners list against Para Hills at Jack Smith Park.
Birkalla have drawn two on the bounce, but worryingly have not scored in more than 270 minutes. The Knights dropped into the bottom two last week, but sit only three points behind Birkalla.
Adelaide Blue Eagles will aim to halt their losing run against in-form rivals Campbelltown City at Marden Sports Complex.
Two successive losses means Blue Eagles have slipped to sixth, yet they remain only two points behind second-placed Croydon. Meanwhile, the Red Devils held West Adelaide last week and are unbeaten in over a month.
South Adelaide are hoping to bounce back from a heavy defeat versus a rejuvenated Raiders at O’Sullivan Beach Sports Complex.
The 10th placed Panthers were one of the stingiest Premier League defences until a 7-1 hammering last week. Raiders snapped a run of four defeats by overcoming Blue Eagles in Whyalla, rekindling Finals hopes.
It’s second versus third as Croydon host Adelaide Comets at Polonia Reserve, with both sides locked on 26 points.
The Kings are ahead by virtue of more goals scored, and are aiming for back-to-back wins for the first time since Round 6. Comets have won eight of their past 10 matches, but were held to a scoreless draw last week.
White City have lost their way in recent weeks and take on an in-form MetroStars outfit at Frank Mitchell Park.
The Warriors are without victory since Round 9, following what was their best period of the season. MetroStars have put scoring woes aside to net 11 in two matches and climb to fifth spot in the process.
Saturday May 24
Cumberland United v Western Strikers
3pm - A.A. Bailey Reserve, Winona Avenue, CLARENCE GARDENS
West Torrens Birkalla v Para Hills
3pm - Jack Smith Park, Morphett Road, NOVAR GARDENS
Adelaide Blue Eagles v Campbelltown City
3pm - Marden Sports Complex, Lower Portrush Road, MARDEN
South Adelaide v Raiders
3pm - O'Sullivan Beach Sports Complex, Galloway Road, O'SULLIVAN BEACH
Croydon v Adelaide Comets
3pm - Polonia Reserve, Essex Crescent, CROYDON PARK
White City v MetroStars
7pm - Frank Mitchell Park, Minns Street, WOODVILLE WEST