Adelaide United coach Carl Veart says a clash with fierce rivals Melbourne Victory shapes as the perfect way to bounce back from a disappointing mid-week A-League loss.
The Reds were unbeaten under Carl Veart until they were brought back down to earth in a 5-3 loss to Perth on Wednesday night.
Veart expects a quick turnaround in form in front of a parochial Coopers Stadium crowd on Saturday night.
“It’s the biggest game for our fans so the players will definitely lift for this game tomorrow,” he said.
“The support that we had for the last home game against Melbourne City was tremendous and if we get that support again tomorrow night, I’m sure we’ll come away with three points.”
Victory coach Grant Brebner was wary of the wounded Reds.
“I’m sure Adelaide (would have) woken up pretty battered and bruised,” Brebner said.
“It’s never easy to (concede) five goals in a game.
“But from our perspective it might not be a good thing because when you do concede heavily you generally get a reaction the game after.
“We’ll be prepared for that but I genuinely feel that if we look after our own house then it doesn’t really worry me what’s going on with other teams.”
Adelaide play Victory just four days after their last game but Brebner shrugged off the suggestion it was to his side’s advantage.
Victory, who haven’t played since losing to Brisbane on January 2, will have close to a full squad to choose from.
Marco Rojas has recovered from a hamstring strain, while Robbie Kruse (knee) and new recruit Ryan Shotton (hotel quarantine) have built up fitness in friendlies against NPL teams.
Nick Ansell (hamstring) and Ben Folami (knee) are both sidelined.
Adelaide captain Stefan Mauk (calf) will miss the game but is expected to return against Brisbane next week.
Spanish recruit Javi Lopez (knee) and Ryan Strain (groin) are both in the squad and Veart said one of the two would start.
STATS THAT MATTER
* Adelaide have won their past four games against Victory at Coopers Stadium – their longest winning run against them at home
* Victory’s Marco Rojas has scored in five of his past seven games against Adelaide
* No player in the A-League has made more clearances than Adelaide defender Jordan Elsey (19)
Stats provided by Opta