ADELAIDE V MELBOURNE VICTORY Saturday night, Coopers Stadium

No one would have expected there to be desperation stakes on the line for these two teams so early in the season.

Adelaide has just one point from their opening two games while the same can be said for Melbourne.

Many key players from the side that won the Reds their first A-league title have now departed and in a further blow, attacking threat Sergio Cirio is out for up to 10 weeks after being injured last week.

As for the Victory they will be hoping to forget what happened in Round 2 as they were embarrassed by a very good Melbourne City outfit. It has been a mighty long time since we saw the Victory handled like that.

Coach Kevin Muscat will have fired up his troops for a big one against Adelaide this week but they need to overcome a worrying trend if they are to win.

While they have dominated this fixture in recent seasons they haven’t won in Adelaide since 2009.

For the home side that stat may be positive, however, just one win at all venues in their last nine games against Melbourne is definitely concerning. That victory came the last time these teams met.

The Reds don’t mind playing a Saturday night fixture and in recent times it’s actually suited them. In their last seven games in that timeslot, they have walked away with all three points on six occasions while the other result was a Draw.

Adelaide looked in control of the game against the Wanderers last week before conceding two late goals. Coach Gui Amor won’t want his side to throw away another result like that.

The one major thing playing in their favour here is an impressive record at the venue – they only lost there twice all last season.

If they are to get over their rivals in this one then they need Henrique and Jesse Makarounas to put away those chances they failed to do so last week, even though the former did get on the scoresheet.

Victory will be scarred by their loss in the Derby so expect to see some bounce back but we aren’t too sure whether it will be enough.

TIP: Adelaide – the champs have to click into gear sooner rather than later

TOTAL GOALS OVER/UNDER 2.5 - Unders. We think both sides will be more concerned with getting their defence in order so there won’t be much space about.
Adelaide - 1pt @ 2.50
Under 2.5 Goals - 1pt @ 2.10