Friday’s A-League 2017 Round 19 match is between Adelaide United and Perth Glory. The opening kick off is set to commence at 19:57 AEST time with the game to be played at Coopers Stadium. View our preview and teams for the game between Adelaide United and Perth Glory.
The defending champions have signed some new players, with South Korean midfielder Kim Jae-Sung and striker Eli Babalj for the remainder of of the A-League and ACL campaign.
Kim, 33, has over 380 appearances in the K- League and also played in three of South Korea’s four games at the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa with 16 international caps overall.
Babalj, 24 returns to the Reds after previously being loaned to the club by AZ Alkmaar. And Senegalese striker Baba Diawara also joins the club but his transfer is subject to final approval of his working visa.
Going the other way is forward Henrique who has terminated his contract pending a move abroad.
It’s encouraging for the Reds that they have been active in the transfer market but I feel it will have more effect in the ACL than the A-League with Adelaide way off the pace.
South Korean midfielder Kim Jae-Sung and striker Eli Babalj have joined the Reds for the rest of the A-League season and the club’s AFC Champions League campaign
Perth returned to the winner’s list with a victory over the Jets, with Diego Castro back to his scintillating best and former Socceroo Rhys Williams played his first A-League game in almost two months.
Fans will be delighted that Williams was back on the team sheet after speculation he would leave the club for Sydney FC.
Perth beat Adelaide 3-1 back in November but it might be a different story if the Reds’ new faces are on board this weekend.
Sometimes the effect of a few new faces in a team can give the whole club a boost so Glory will have to prepared for a significant lift.
KEY BATTLE: Isaias v Diego Castro
Isaias is still the main man for Adelaide and will need to make sure the new players integrate quickly.
Castro hit top form and can destroy any team when he’s in the mood. A standout performance against the Jets and he will look to continue the dominance here.
Perth have a lot of firepower and will push Adelaide all the way but the Reds will hold out for a draw.
Adelaide United at $2.25
Draw at $3.65
Perth at $3.05
Tip: Draw at $3.60
Value Bet: First Goal Scorer: S Cirio at $8.50
Correct Score: Draw 2-2 at $10.00
Adelaide United squad: 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Taylor REGAN, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Sergio CIRIO, 12.Mark OCHIENG, 13.Marc MARINO, 14.George MELLS, 15.Ben WARLAND, 16.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 17.Nikola MILEUSNIC, 18.Riley McGREE, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.John HALL (gk), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 24.Jordan O’DOHERTY, 30.Daniel MARGUSH (gk).
Perth Glory squad: 3.Marc WARREN, 5.Rhys WILLIAMS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.Rostyn GRIFFITHS (c), 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 13.Nick FEELY (gk), 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Joe MILLS, 17.Diego CASTRO, 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Aryn WILLIAMS, 22.Adam TAGGART, 23.Kosta PETRATOS, 24.Milan SMILJANIC, 33.Liam REDDY (gk).
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Barba’s Toulon debut could be a year away
Ben Barba faces months of being a Top 14 spectator, with his new rugby union club Toulon casting doubt on him getting regular game time until 2018.
The former NRL fullback will battle not only a lack of experience in the 15-man game, but also fierce competition for backline spots in a star-studded outfit.
Barba inked a two-and-a-half year deal worth a reported $1 million a year with the French powerhouse Toulon following his shock exit from Cronulla this month.
Toulon assistant coach Stephen Meehan said Barba could be forced to wait until the 2017-18 Top 14 season begins in August to make his debut.
“Unless there was major injury problems throughout the club, I don’t think it’s going to happen,” Meehan told Fox Sports.
“Frankly, I imagine it’s going to be slow. For the first six months, for him it would just be a question of getting your head down and working on everything as hard as you can, get to know everything, study the game.
“Honestly, if all these guys are available, I can’t see him getting a lot of game time this year.”
The 27-year-old joins a squad bursting with fullbacks, with former Wallaby James O’Connor, Welsh star Leigh Halfpenny, France’s Pierre Bernard and Japan fan favourite Ayumu Goromaru all wearing the No.15 jersey this season.
Barba, a Dally M medallist and NRL premiership winner with the Sharks last year, claims to have played rugby in high school.
He left rugby league after the NRL delayed registering his Cronulla contract while facing a 12-game ban for a second positive illicit drugs test.
Meehan, who’s in Australia for Toulon’s Brisbane Global Rugby Tens campaign this weekend, was hopeful Barba would prove him wrong.
“But that’s a challenge for him. He might prove me wrong. He might take to the game like that,” Meehan said.
“(But) I haven’t seen anyone come in and light up the code immediately.
“There’s going to be a period for adjustment over there, ever more difficult because we’ve got various languages on the pitch.”