Preview: Melbourne Victory v Adelaide United

This shapes as a crucial match-up for both teams as they seek to start building some momentum before the leading pack skip away.

Melbourne have opened with three tight one-goal losses. But the feeling is they are not too far away from finding both cohesion and points.

The Victory have conceded five goals in three matches, which isn’t significant for a team without a point. Notably they have conceded a penalty in each match, although former Westfield Matildas keeper Melissa Barbieri has saved two of them.

Much of their forward drive comes from classy American midfielder Christine Nairn who recently received a call-up to the USA national team. She will need to be at her creative best as the Victory seeks to improve on a modest two-goal haul.

Adelaide, for their part, head across the border with a shocking record against the Victorians. They have won just one of 12 matches against their opponents, yet interestingly that win came in their most recent meeting – 2-1 in Adelaide almost 12 months ago to the day.

The Lady Reds pulled off what is perhaps the result of the season thus far just last Sunday, recoring an impressive 2-1 triumph at Brisbane Roar. With a draw also under their belt, they hold an equal share of third and the early signs are that Adelaide, now under the experienced hand of Jamie Harnwell, will be extremely competitive again this season.

This shapes as a compelling contest on the boutique confines of Epping Stadium in Melbourne’s north, and one that is hard to predict.

Melbourne Victory v Adelaide United
Sunday 8 November 2015
Epping Stadium, Melbourne
Local kick-off: 3pm

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Melbourne Victory squad: Melissa Barbieri (gk), Annabel Martin, Thea Slatyer, Jessica Pitts, Alexandra Natoli, Enza Barilla, Jamie Pollock, Christine Nairn, Hayley Raso, MelindaJ Barbieri, Briar Palmer, Melissa Taranto, Cindy Lay, Laura Spiranovic, Cassandra Dimovski (gk)

Ins: none

Outs: none

Unavailable: Gulcan Koca (foot – 3-4 weeks), Selin Kuralay (knee –season)

Adelaide United squad: Kaitlyn Savage (gk), Lauren Steer, Alexandra Gummer, Sarah Killion, Allira Toby, Chantelle Ryder, Emily Condon, Marijana Rajcic, Georgia Campagnale, Rosie Sutton, Elizabeth Milne, Abbigail Dahlkemper, Grace Abbey, Tiarn Powell, Claudia Jenkins (gk)

Ins: none

Outs: none

Unavailable: none