May 02, 2015 08:33:31 UK
Adelaide United coach Josep Gombau reckons Sydney FC’s rest in the first week of the finals might count against them when the two clubs meet in next weekend’s semi-final.
United booked their place in the last four when they beat defending champions Brisbane Roar 2-1 at Adelaide Oval in their elimination final.
Sydney’s reward for finishing one place higher than the Reds in second spot was sitting out the first week of the playoffs, and they will host the semi-final at Allianz Stadium next Saturday.
Adelaide are 3.20 to beat Sydney FC, who are 2.20 with the draw 3.40.
Gombau has seized the positives of his side’s situation, saying the fact that Adelaide played on Friday would help them keep their momentum when they come up against the Sky Blues.
The Spanish coach has a number of things in his favour as he looks to prepare his side psychologically for their trip. The fact that the Reds haven’t lost in their last seven meetings with Graham Arnold’s team is one of their positives.
Even more significant, according to Gombau, is that Sydney won’t have played for 13 days when they host the semi-final.
“If I am honest, it is better to play,” Gombau said. “Because you keep (up with) the speed of the game, this feeling.
“If you ask me, I think we have a little bit of advantage in this, because they stop and they don’t play (a) game. We have eight days in front, that we can recover perfect.”
Gombau’s side, who are 5.00 to win the Grand Final, had no problems adjusting to playing away from their usual home venue of Coopers Stadium, taking an early lead through Craig Goodwin’s free-kick.
After Thomas Broich levelled midway through the first half, the Reds won through when Awer Mabil netted with just three minutes to go.
Mabil said: “We’ve been talking about it since the start of this year, when we went out last year it wasn’t a great feeling and the win tonight is a reward for the boys for the hard work we’ve put in this year so we’re going to keep going.”
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