AFTER claiming top spot with impressive back-to-back triumphs, Sydney FC boss Vitezslav Lavicka will look to continue his side’s stellar run by naming an unchanged line-up for tonight’s clash with Adelaide United at Hindmarsh Stadium.The Sky Blues have been buoyant all week at training since dispatching Melbourne Victory 3-0 on enemy territory last week and finished their preparations with a light final hit-out at the stadium last night after arriving in Adelaide yesterday afternoon.While Adelaide continue to sort through several injury problems, the only question mark for the visitors in recent days has been the fitness of defender Stephan Keller, who missed last week with a calf injury. The club has erred on the side of caution and will stick with the central pairing of Simon Colosimo and Sebastian Ryall, allowing Shannon Cole to keep his position at right back.”Stefan’s treatment will keep going, he is closer to being ready for the next match rather than this one,” Lavicka said. ”He is in a similar situation with Mitchell [Prentice], they are both almost ready. But while Mitchell has been away much much longer, Stefan has been playing matches and should play next week.”The stirring win against Melbourne prompted plenty of title talk among Sydney fans but Lavicka has used the latter part of this week to get his players focused solely on a whole-hearted performance tonight.”The players played very well against Melbourne, especially in the first half,” he said. ”It’s a balance. We played the first half very well in attack, scored three goals and created other good opportunities for us. In the second half we were very compact, as a team and in defence. We played very effectively and we were satisfied, but it’s now in the past.”Exactly what has prompted the improved form is difficult to ascertain, but it appears a number of factors are at play. Perhaps most telling is the fact Sydney look to have finally settled on a strong first XI, one which happily fits the coach’s preferred 4-4-2 diamond formation. While Lavicka agrees with that, he’s adamant there’s still plenty more to see.”We are ready to play different systems and players as well. Every team must be able to play not only one system but many,” he said. ”Against some of the teams, it’s important to change things and [have] special tactics against them. But I’m happy that the players understand me as a coach and my philosophy. We are building good relationships and that makes for a positive environment that is hard-working, humble and allows us to reach for our goals.”Lavicka also praised the form of former Newcastle Jets midfielder Stuart Musialik, who has been forced to work his way into the first team after being frozen out of calculations early in the season.”I know Stuey has shown very good character since the first part of the season and he has settled in well,” Lavicka said. ”He waited for the chance, worked very hard and when it came, he took it.”Rarely will Adelaide United go into a match at home as outsiders but Sydney’s strong form means they’ll be short-priced favourites with the bookmakers. Confidence is high in the camp, even if Lavicka believes there are lessons from their 1-0 win over the Reds in round two. ”It was a very tough game for us, for both teams,” he said. ”We scored the goal in the last 15 minutes but the game was very equal. We expect a tough game again. This will be a good game for us.”Lavicka will again be relying on the continued good form of Mark Bridge and Alex Brosque in attack, both of whom have grown in confidence and could create a long night for the former Sydney defensive pairing of Mark Rudan and Iain Fyfe.”Every coach who has two strikers playing well and scoring is happy,” Lavicka said. ”Both scored in the last game, and Bridgey did it twice, which is very good. We have improved the attacking part in our play and it’s better than it was before. We are faster and now our ball movement is creating the good chances to score.”
Nanjing Night Net

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