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Reds weakened for Phoenix clash

December 28, 2014 09:54:48 UK

Adelaide United will be missing up to six first-choice players when they host Wellington Phoenix on New Year’s Eve.

The Reds’ joy at securing a 3-0 win away to Sydney FC on Friday has been tempered by the loss of key defenders Tarek Elrich and Nigel Boogaard.

It’s another big test for us and another we have to win.

Bruce Djite

The pair both picked up their fifth yellow cards of the season against the Sky Blues and will sit out the Phoenix clash where Adelaide areĀ 1.80 to win, with the draw 3.80.

Both United and Ernie Merrick’s side will also lose players to international duty. The visitors have had A-League leading scorer Nathan Burns called into the Socceroos camp ahead of the Asian Cup, while Adelaide keeper and captain Eugene Galekovic has also been picked.

Fabio Ferreira will miss the Phoenix game with a hamstring injury, Marcelo Carrusca is likely to be out until after the Asian Cup break, while Osama Malik is a doubt with a calf problem.

Bruce Djite, who scored the first goal in the Reds’ win at Allianz Stadium, said: “It was an expensive game personnel-wise. But we’ll regroup and the coach (Josep Gombau) and the coaching staff have some decisions to make on how we’re going to play against Wellington.

“It’s another big test for us and another we have to win and I’m looking forward to what we have selected; we have good players in our squad.”

Djite had gone without a goal since the end of October until he got a lucky break against the Sky Blues.

Seb Ryall tried to clear Carrusca’s dangerous cross but smacked the ball against the striker’s shin and saw it rebound into the net.

Djite said: “I was very happy with it (goal) to be honest and obviously the concept of being in the right place at the right time paid off.”

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