Saturday, February 18, 2006

Tactical preview; Any surprises for the Sydney v Adelaide blockbuster?

Two meetings on the trot and four already this season means there are now very few secrets between respective managers Pierre Littbarski and John Kosmina, but as we look forward to tomorrow’s return leg of the major semi final at Aussie Stadium, will there be any surprises?

Expect Pierre Littbarski to go with much the same side that started the first leg away from home last week, however, with central defender Jacob Timpano not named in the squad due to injury, there is one spot at the back open, to be filled by either right back Andrew Packer or central defender Iain Fyfe.

While Fyfe has been drafted back into the squad after missing out last week, expect to see the same back four which started the second half last week, with Mark Milligan moving from right back to partner Mark Rudan in the middle, and Packer coming in on the right.

There is one other option for Littbarski, to bring back Terry McFlynn into the central midfield and push Matthew Bingley into defence, but given the fact that Sydney has been successful with Bingley in the holding role over the past month, expect status quo there.

Also, expect the same attack as we’ve seen over the past month, with Ruben Zadkovich on the left, David Carney on the right, Dwight Yorke pulling the strings from midfield and Steve Corica behind Sasho Petrovski in a fluid 4-4-1-1 formation that relies on all the midfielders taking turns in making runs beyond Petrovski.

There is much more intrigue surrounding the likely line-up for Adelaide, especially since results over the past few weeks haven’t gone their way. Kosmina admitted last week a couple of his main men have had a dip in form, and while he didn’t name them, it is telling that he introduced Kristian Rees into the central defence at half time of last week’s game, shifting Angelo Costanzo into central midfield.

Up until then the central defencive pairing of Costanzo and Michael Valkanis had been given the run around by a mobile Sydney attack, with the main problem being Corica, who was playing in between midfield and attack. He was being allowed too much space, with central midfielders Carl Veart and Ross Aloisi already busy with Yorke and Bingley.

Kosmina fixed this in the second period by pushing Costanzo up as he is more naturally adept at playing in the deep role in midfield, thus limiting space for the likes of Corica and Yorke. Essentially, he gives Adelaide a better shape.

But this in itself creates another headache, what to do with Veart? He has been starting in the middle lately, but, with Lucas Pantelis still out injured, don’t be surprised to see him on the left, providing a physical threat to Packer.

This would mean Travis Dodd goes back to the right side of midfield after starting on the left last week and Richie Alagich returns to his favoured right back position after playing in midfield last week, with Robert Cornthwaite returning to the bench.

If Kosmina does decide to leave Veart in central midfield and Costanzo at the back, he still has the option of playing Louis Brain on the left. Also, don’t be surprised to see Robert Bajic back between the sticks. It is often a line ball decision between him and Daniel Beltrame, but Adelaide have yet to lose with Bajic in goal.

Perhaps as intriguing will be the use of the bench, with both managers having the option of throwing on a couple of recent short term signings. Sydney have the nippy Tolgay Ozbey as a speedster who can test an hesitation in Adelaide’s defending on the ground, while Kosmina has added the experienced former NSL attacking midfielder Greg Owens and local kid Jason Spagnuolo to his traveling contingent for that added surprise element.

Likely teams. Sydney (4-4-1-1); Clint Bolton; Andrew Packer, Mark Rudan, Mark Milligan, Alvin Ceccoli; David Carney, Matthew Bingley, Dwight Yorke, Ruben Zadkovich; Steve Corica; Sasho Petrovski. Adelaide (4-4-1-1); Robert Bajic; Richie Alagich, Michael Valkanis, Krisitan Rees, Adam Van Dommele; Travis Dodd, Angelo Costanzo, Ross Aloisi, Carl Veart; Fernando Rech; Shengqing Qu.


Post a Comment

<< Home