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Reds eye Adelaide upset of unbeaten Sydney

AAP logoAAP 24/12/2016 Emma Kemp

Having sunk to their lowest ebb, Adelaide United are determined to snap Sydney FC's unbeaten streak and resuscitate their near-terminal A-League title defence.

Midfielder James Holland says the Reds have flagged potential weaknesses in Graham Arnold's side, which he believes can be exploited when bottom hosts top on Boxing Day.

The Sky Blues remain undefeated after 11 rounds, having put another four goals past Perth last weekend, and will fancy their chances of toppling their bogey team at Coopers Stadium for the first time in nearly five years.

Yet struggling Adelaide still remember how they held Sydney to a goalless draw at Allianz Stadium last month.

And more importantly, how they stopped them playing.

"Sydney are a really hard team to break down," Holland said.

"They try to make you play their game, which isn't our game.

"But we did really well there, we suffocated them and didn't give them many chances so we draw a lot of confidence from that.

"We've tried to pinpoint some of their weaknesses and hopefully we can use that on Monday."

Three points is vital for Adelaide if Guillermo Amor's side have any hope of rescuing a campaign featuring one win and six points from 11 outings.

Their woes were compounded by a 2-1 away loss to Newcastle last Friday, when they handed the Jets three gilt-edged chances - including the winner - in stoppage time.

"After that game was the lowest point I've felt in the changing rooms," Holland said.

"Because I felt like although we had lost before we'd played a lot better."

"The onus was on us, we were prepared, and we just didn't deliver.

"Not winning is tough and it's hard to get out of that ditch."

Though 21 points separates the two, Sydney are reluctant to assume victory is a given against a side they've beaten just once in the last 11 meetings.

Sky Blues defender Alex Wilkinson said the Reds couldn't be underestimated.

"They're not in a great position, but I don't think where they are reflects the team they've got and the team they can be.

"Some injured players have come back in the last two weeks who are very important for them so we're expecting a difficult game, especially at home at Hindmarsh.

"They're always very hard to beat there - you look at some of their past results and they've always been close games against teams right up the top of the table."

STATS THAT MATTER:

* Adelaide are undefeated in 10 of their last 11 games against Sydney

* The Sky Blues haven't won at Coopers Stadium since February 2012

* This will be only the fourth time Adelaide have played on a Monday, their only Monday loss in October 2006 against Sydney

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