Around the grounds: FFA Cup holders Adelaide ready for a ‘fired up’ Melbourne Knights, says Marrone

FFA Cup holders Adelaide United will need to navigate past a ‘fired up’ Melbourne Knights to start their trophy defence, says Michael Marrone.

New head coach Gertjan Verbeek has to deal with one of the smallest roster turnovers of all Hyundai A-League clubs heading into the 2019/20 season, with only four players departing. 

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Riley McGree, Michael Maria and Kristian Opseth are the Reds’ new arrivals and the continuity in camp is something the Marrone believes will help the defending champions take care of business, even against a ‘fired up’ NPL Victoria side.

“When you play state league clubs they’re going to be fired up because it’s an all-in game,” he told adelaideunited.com.au

“The advantage for them is that they’re in season and they’ve been playing together for quite a while.

“But I think also on the flip side, we’re not a new team, we’ve got a few additions, but most of our team has remained the same and we’re all learning the same process together.


“So we’ll be fine and we’ve played a couple of games now so we’ve got some minutes in the legs and I’m sure it’ll help with all the preparation necessary to be successful.

“It doesn’t really come down to one thing, it’s doing everything right and taking the game very serious and getting the result.”

Verbeek's United front 

Adelaide are engrossed with the new attacking style Gertjan Verbeek is implementing in the City of Churches, says Nathan Konstandopoulos.

Verbeek was unveiled as new Adelaide coach in May and set the Reds an ambitious target: to play in the famed styles of some Europe’s most celebrated club sides, Ajax and Barcelona.

Fans will get their first glimpse of the Dutchman’s plans when Adelaide commence their FFA Cup title defence against Melbourne Knights of NPL Victoria on Wednesday night.

“It’s all short and sharp, quick passes, movements, our style is a little bit more fluid,” Konstandopoulos told adelaideunited.com.au.

“We’ll see movements and changing positions and it’s very hard to defend. So far, we’ve worked predominantly on our build up and now we’re starting to incorporate more of the defensive side.

“But so far it’s been good. It’s been fresh, new ideas and I think the boys are really buying into it well.”

Elrich gives new-look Wanderers seal of approval

Western Sydney Wanderers are gathering momentum and ready to unleash a new style of football on their opponents this season, Tarek Elrich has revealed.

A lone pillar of consistency for the Wanderers in their tumultuous 2018/19 campaign, 32-year-old defender Elrich observed the teething issues during Markus Babbel's maiden season at the helm better than most.

But there’s a different feel coming from the Western Sydney camp this time around, aided by a raft of high-quality international signings and the belief that the Wanderers are older and wiser for last season’s roller-coaster.

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Babbel’s side will get a significant check of their progress in Wednesday night’s FFA Cup 2019 Round of 32 tie against reigning Hyundai A-League Premiers Perth Glory.

“We're working on a lot of other things," Elrich said.

"Markus [Babbel] has us really working through the middle of the park, but we've then also got different formations to work in the wide areas as well.

“He's got players that are very adaptable and can play more than one position which is always great. There'll definitely be a different style of play.”