The biggest football rivalry in South Australia takes centre stage this weekend, when West Adelaide play hosts to their arch nemesis and League leader Adelaide City, in their Round 13 clash of the PlayStation 4 National Premier League South Australia at Adelaide Shores Football Centre.
By Joe Pangallo – 5RTI Sports 531 AM @JoJo_ontheball
West Adelaide who have had a disappointing first half of the season, are sitting mid-table after promising so much coming into 2016. Dropping vital points in games when they were in a winning position has cost West Adelaide dearly, and player movements hasn’t helped, causing disruption in the mechanics of the team.
But with all the impediments Paul Pezos’ men are still within striking distance of the leaders, and this week’s contest against City will be a must win game if they are to have any chance of playing finals.
West Adelaide’s elusive striker Perry Mitris couldn’t be more emphatic with his views on this week’s game, saying the three points would be paramount if they are to force their way into the top six.
“Playing Finals is our goal and we are within reach of the top six teams, we just need to string some wins together.” Mitris said.
“To say this week’s game is a must win would be an understatement. Both teams for their own reasons need the victory. The game will present limited scoring chances, so the side that has the greater desire for the ball and capitalises on their scoring opportunities will take the points.”
“On paper we are pretty evenly matched, we just have to bring the high intensity on the ball so that we can control the match on our terms”
The challenge for West Adelaide’s midfielders Tony Hatzis, Tommy Briscoe and Hikaru Tanaka will be to nullify the influence of City’s three “Amigos” Nicholas Bucco, Joel Allwright and Thomas Love in the middle third of the park. The trio have played a big part in City’s past three wins.
City’s dynamic play maker Nicholas Bucco said Sunday’s game is another important contest for his side to keep abreast of top spot.
“We have become the hunted this season, so every side lifts a gear when they play us,” Bucco said.
“The competition is so even that if you are slightly off your game you will get beaten. So each game becomes more important.
“We haven’t beaten West Adelaide twice in a season for a long time so this week will be a good challenge for us to achieve a bit of bragging rights.”
Leading League goal scorer Anthony Costa will be looking to add to his 12 gaols with the support of the silky smooth Nikola Mileusnic and the fleet footed Mamadi Kamara; the attacking formation has been instrumental in City’s 2016 revival.
This promises to be another classic match, full of the traditional physicality between two old foes giving their all to the end.
PlayStation 4 National Premier League South Australia – Round 13
When: Sunday, June 5th. Kick-off 3pm
Where: Adelaide Shores Football Centre
West Adelaide: 2. Aristomenios Haralampopoulos, 5. Robin Lippett, 10. Ricardo Da Silva (C), 11. Thomas Briscoe, 12. Thomas Veart, 13. Hikaru Tanaka, 14. Nathan Andijanto, 15. Ryan James, 16. Alexandros Koutoulogenis, 17. Perry Mitris, 18. Yiannis Nestoras, 19. John Karatzas, 20. Tony Hatzis, 21. Daniel Atkins (GK), 22. Michael Alexandrou, 23. Mitchell Nicholson
Adelaide City: 1. Ryan Veitch (GK), 3. Alexander Sunasky, 4. Shane Tobias, 5. Matthew Halliday, 6. Jordan Pudler, 7. Joel Allwright, 8. Paul Blefari, 9. Anthony Costa, 10. Nikola Mileusnic, 11. Nicholas Bucco, 16. Thomas Love, 17. Mamadi Kamara, 18. Joshua Mori
West Adelaide: L W D
Round 10: MetroStars 2 v West Adelaide 0
Round 11: West Adelaide 3 v Croydon Kings 2
Round 12: Adelaide Olympic 3 v West Adelaide 3
Adelaide City: W W W
Round 10: South Adelaide 0 v Adelaide City 3
Round 11: Adelaide City 3 v MetroStars 0
Round 12: Croydon 0 v Adelaide City 1
Written by: Joe Pangallo – 5RTI Sports 531 AM