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Australian Football: City target return to winning ways

Melbourne City will look to consolidate their place at the top of the A-League ladder when they entertain play-off hopefuls Adelaide United on Sunday afternoon.

As things stand City are five points clear at the top of the ladder and also have a game in hand. We are only on matchday 14 and the minor premiership could be in the bag already. 

It will take a dramatic collapse for anything other than a City win as the sides around them are failing to string wins together.

City have not been in great form when drawing the last two games, but they still hold a healthy advantage at the top of the pile.

They could increase their lead if Central Coast Mariners slip up against Western Sydney Wanderers in the late game on Saturday evening and they will know exactly what they need to do come kick-off on Sunday.

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Takeaways from matchday 13

Adelaide are certainly a side that can hurt City and we could be in for a close encounter in the final match of the round. Let’s take a closer look at both teams with kick-off fast approaching.

What:Melbourne City v Adelaide United
Where:Melbourne Rectangular Stadium
When:15:00 (AEST) Sunday 29th January 2023
How to watch:Paramount+ 10Bold
Odds:Melbourne 4/7 , Adelaide 9/2, Draw 10/3

City out to return to winning ways

Melbourne City are unbeaten in the last five games but they have been held to draws in the last two and will be keen to get three points against Adelaide.

No-one will be reaching for the panic button at City. Indeed coach Rado Vidosic says the 0-0 draw with Brisbane Roar last week was a one-off and ‘one of those days’.

Even star striker Jamie Maclaren could not find a way through. Maclaren has been in great form when scoring 13 goals already this season but he has drawn a blank in the last two fixtures.

The Socceroos ace will be keen to end that drought and he is priced at 4/7 to score a goal anytime during the game. Out of his 13 goals, six of them have been the first goal of the game to get his side in front and he is priced at 12/5 to bag the opener against the Reds.

A big part of Adelaide United’s game-plan will be trying to keep Maclaren quiet but they are a side packed with quality and the likes of Marco Tilio can chip in with a goal when needed. 

Vidosic has a decision to make over team selection, particularly at full-back. Jordan Bos and Callum Talbot were both missing against Roar with Scott Jamieson and Scott Galloway coming into the side so it will be interesting to see if the young duo come back in.

Adelaide braced for City backlash

Adelaide coach Carl Veart has spoken out saying he expects City to come out with all guns blazing on Sunday afternoon. City are back on home soil after two draws on the road and Veart expects them to be on the front foot from the very first whistle.

Veart has described the opposition as the ‘very best team in the league’ producing the most consistent football of the season so far. Saying that, he believes that his side, despite showing far less consistency, have what it takes to match City and leave Melbourne with a positive result. 

It has been a disappointing first half of the season for the Reds, who would have been hoping to be much closer to the top of the ladder at this stage. They are eight points behind City and they need to improve drastically if they are to close the gap. 

Sunday’s fixture would be a good place to start. Discipline has also been an issue for the Reds with players being sent off left, right and centre in the opening 13 games. A red card in Sunday’s match can be backed at 5/1, no red card in the match is 1/8.

Adelaide do have quality players that can hurt City and Socceroos forward Craig Goodwin will be a threat throughout the game. Goodwin has scored five goals this season and can be backed at 10/3 to score any time against Melbourne.

Adelaide have also been handed a triple boost heading into the game as both Isaias and Juande return from suspension, while Lachlan Barr is back available following injury. Ben Warland is suspended however and Bernardo remains on the sidelines with a foot injury.

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