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Writers Chat: Adelaide United vs Jeju United

Jeju United visit Adelaide United for the third ACL group stage match of the year. After their loss in the first game against Jiangsu, Jeju have recorded three wins in all competitions, scoring eight and conceding only one. Adelaide meanwhile are bottom of the group and also the A-League. However, they will be desperate for a win to keep their chances of escaping from the group alive.

In this match preview, K-League United's Duncan Elder spoke with Damien Lewandowski to find out exactly what each team can expect in the upcoming crucial ACL clash.

Photo from facebook.com/fcjejuunited and Adelaide United

Duncan Asks, Damien Answers

Duncan Elder: Adelaide made the K-League Twittersphere earlier in the year when they suggested that should Jeonbuk be kicked out of the ACL, they didn't think another Korean team should be allowed to take their place. For better or worse, this is what ended up happening. Is there still a sense of injustice in the Adelaide camp? Do you think it will make the team more motivated for the week's game?

Damien Lewandowski: I think that was a fair call from Adelaide United to ask for Jeonbuk to be kicked out as they did break the rules and deserved the punishment they received. However, as for another Korean team taking their place I feel the club and fans are ok with that and don't view it as a injustice.

As Reds fans we welcome the challenge and look forward to our trip to Korea.Adelaide United has a proud ACL history so does not shy away from any opponent or challenge.

The team will be motivated this week not because we are playing the Korean outfit but because we are playing our 3rd game in the group stage and yet to record a single point.Also the lads were embarrassed in their first home game against Gamba so the lads will want to show some pride in the shirt and get a win for their fans at Hindmarsh Stadium.

A win is a must and the REDS players know this, we desperately need 3 points to get off the bottom of the group and push to get out the group stage. Winning at home is the motivation for their loyal fans.

DE: I’m not particularly familiar with the A League, but after doing some research online I saw that it seems Adelaide went from winning the league in 2015/16, to their current position of last place in 2016/17. What happened!?

DL: Adelaide United went from Champions to chumps in 6 short months, it has been a absolute disaster this year both on and off the field.

5 to 6 key players left during the offseason and were not adequately replaced. This year a lot of young kids have been thrown into the deep end and some of the older more experienced players from last year's success have either underperformed or gotten injured.

With young kids you get inconsistency and this season has not seen Adelaide win two games in a row all year. Not good enough for the current champions. Even the players that we signed in the offseason to replace the players that left the club and played key roles in United winning the league have now left before this current season has even ended.

It has been a circus and merry go round of players this current campaign. Reds fans are not happy.

DE: Despite a better scoreline in the game against Jiangsu Suning, Adelaide still narrowly lost. What are Adelaide’s hopes in the ACL? Can they turn things around?

DL: Adelaide's hopes are not great in the ACL if we are to be completely honest, it was a gallant display in China but still the boys are being outclassed so far in this group stage.

We have not been switched on in both games for the full 90minutes and our defence has made school boy mistakes at critical stages in both games so far. We are toothless in attack too with just 1 consolation goal in our first 2 games.

Anything can be turned around and 3 points on Wednesday night will be a massive step in the right direction, however, it will be a tall ask from a side in bad form in the A league and a Korean side who hammered Gamba in their last game, especially knowing Gamba destroyed us at Hindmarsh in game one. There could be fireworks in this game and a lot of goals just not at the right end for the Reds fans.

Adelaide play a possession based game, Amor likes the boys to have the ball for long periods in a game. His philosophy is that while we have the ball the other team can't hurt us and we can dictate the tempo.

We are also known to throw in the quick long ball too and catch teams napping. The team plays with a 4 5 1 formation and relies heavily on the midfield to control the game and our full backs to bomb on forward. When United is on song, the quick short passing game in the front third can be beautiful to watch, the song hasn't been playing much this year, though.

Threats to look our for is our fullbacks bursting forward to link up with the attack. Tarek Elrich and Ben Garrucio in defence do this exceptionally well .Also our Korean import Kim Jae-sung looks the goods since joining the Reds, is strong on the ball and works tirelessly in the midfield.

Young 18 year old Riley Mcgree who plays as a defensive central midfielder is a promising young talent and has been playing so well this season he has just been selected in the Socceroos squad. Look our for him to be very clever on the ball.

DE: How do you think the game will play out?

DL: My head says United will not get a lot out of this game as Jeju are a very strong side as results would suggest, but my heart as a fan is optimistic.

At home you always have a chance for 3 points and if the young boys of UNITED can play to their potential then anything is possible.The defence will need to be ruthless and focussed for the full 90mins and our strikers will need to find goals, something Adelaide United has struggled with all year.

If we can get our fullbacks forward and our midfielders in the box as much as possible then I believe we can hurt the Koreans, but if United get dominated and drop deeper and deeper during the game then I see this as a potential disaster night for the Reds.

FIFA 17 Preview

Here's a look at what Marc Guay's FIFA 17 simulation predicted.

Damien Asks, Duncan Answers.

Damien Lewandowski: Jeju has started their domestic campaign well with a win in round one, what are the fans hopes this season? Are they any threat to be champions of Korea?

Duncan Elder: Well, since this question was asked we have also gone on to win our second game too. We have looked brilliant so far this year and are playing better than I have ever seen us play. We look dangerous when we go forward and our defensive is very solid.

Far too early to be talking about being champions, though. I think Jeju's goal will be to make sure that they finish in the top three next season.

DL: The ACL campaign has seen a indifferent start with a loss and a win, but that win against Gamba in Japan was all class.Was that a surprise result for even the most optimistic and loyal fans?

DE: Winning by such a margin was certainly a big surprise, especially after Gamba's good opening victory against Adelaide. However, it was a deserved win and after we were incredibly unlucky to have lost the first game against Jiangsu it was good to get a big result in the second match.

We have created chances in both ACL games this year (and our league games) so we always look dangerous. I guess the difference is that while in the first game we hit the woodwork a couple of times and the keeper made some good saves, in the second game those shots all went into the goal!

DL: Will Jeju get out the group stage? Based on the last game I would assume YES are the fans confident ? Would not getting out the group stage be seen as a failure ?

DE: The Gamba game was certainly a good omen but realistically we are still on the same points as them and only one win away from Adelaide. Also, this is our first ACL campaign for six years so we are definitely missing some experience. Basically, at the moment anything could still happen.

Jeju will definitely want to get out of the group though and a win away from home against Adelaie will put us in a good position to do it.

DL: Who Does Adelaide United need to look out for in the game Wednesday night?

DE: Marcelo is probably our best attacking player. He is creative, a good passer, and a good finisher. He went off early in yesterday's game due to what looked like an ankle injury. However, he was walking normally at the end of the game so I would hope that he can still make it.

As well as him Lee Chang-min has started the season in fine goal scoring form having put two in against Gamba and one in against Ulsan at the weekend. He hasn't previously been know for his scoring but he seems to be getting into better attacking positions and the technique on his shots looks excellent.

DL: What will the game plan and style be of Jeju away in Adelaide ? Will they settle for a point? Will they be on the front foot and go for the win? If they do get all 3 points can this side be half a chance in winning the ACL this campaign?

DE: Jeju are good at both keeping the ball and also counter attacking quickly so I expect them to mix it up depending on how Adelaide set out. We have some quick players in attack so should Adelaide really push for the win I think that could play into our hands.

A draw away from home wouldn't be the worst result, especially after a 12 hour flight. However, with the form we are in at the moment I wouldn't be surprised if we went for, and got, the win.

Score prediction 2:0 to Jeju.

1 comment

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