Consistency breeds success and Canberra United will be itching to find that when they travel to South Australia this weekend to tackle an in-form Adelaide United knowing that a victory is imperative to keep up the chase for a top four place and finals football.
Canberra head into the match against the team sitting just outside the Finals places, seven points adrift of the Lady Reds but in the knowledge that there have been many positives to take from the last three matches, all of which though have ended in a reversal of fortunes.
There have been chances aplenty for Njegosh Popovich and his team, particularly in their last outing, a narrow defeat to Melbourne Victory last weekend. In that match it was only the brilliance of Victory goalkeeper Casey Dumont that kept United at bay, a raft of presentable opportunities going begging in the one-goal setback.
The feeling persists however, as emphasised by Popovich in December, that the front end of the park will surely click soon, and the goals will begin to flow on a regular basis.
The Lady Reds will provide stern resistance, as you would expect from a team that has won four matches by a single goal to nil, and has only conceded four goals all season in the lead-up to this clash. And yet their last outing, a 0-2 loss to Newcastle Jets perhaps offered some clues as to how to break down the Adelaide defence.
Interestingly, they’ve only managed five goals for in those six matches, so finding the target on a more regular basis will also be the mantra for the Adelaide coaching staff and their hardy supporters.
Adelaide did the double over Canberra last season, 1-2 in South Australia in late December and a disappointing 1-3 home defeat at Viking Park in the return fixture played in the first week of the New Year.
Canberra only lost one of their first nine matches they played against Adelaide but haven’t tasted success in their last three, last winning in Adelaide on the 22 December 2019, a narrow 2-1 win. Overall, Canberra has beaten Adelaide thirteen times in their twenty-three meetings, but only three of those have come away.
United has only failed to score in three matches against Adelaide in the history of the Liberty A-League. Channelling that vibe, and taking the opportunities fashioned will go a long way to securing a much-needed moral boost this weekend.
Saturday 7 January 2023
Adelaide United v Canberra United
(ServiceFM Stadium, 19:30 AEDT)
Streamed live on Paramount+ and 10Play
United’s next home match is on Saturday 14 January at McKellar Park when Newcastle Jets provide the opposition with kick-off at 15:00. You can purchase tickets for this match here.