Adelaide United on Fornaroli watch in A-League final
Adelaide City's 2-0 win over Melbourne City in the final round before the A-League finals was best remembered for the wild halftime scuffle involving most of the players from both teams.
The incident saw City goalscorer Harry Novillo suspended for two weeks, meaning he will be sidelined for tonight's semi-final rematch between the teams in Adelaide.
What was overlooked by many was the fact the Reds kept Golden Boot winner Bruno Fornaroli goalless, a significant achievement considering the Uruguayan has found the net a record 25 times this season. He bounced back with a brace in last weekend's 2-0 win over Perth Glory in the second elimination final.
Reds defender Iacopo La Rocca acknowledged the striker would be out for revenge after being shut down in the last meeting between the teams.
"Bruno is quite a player, so you have to be in the game for the 90 minutes," he said.
"Last game he didn't do much, but from nothing he can create something.
"He's a smart striker, and the last two goals he scored in the quarter-final were unbelievable.
"But we know if I make a mistake, Dylan (McGowan) can cover me."
La Rocca also said it wouldn't be up to just one defender, or even just the Reds' defence, to get the job done.
"Last game we did a good job - our whole defensive line," he said.
"We were compact - we started from Bruce (Djite up front) to (goalkeeper) Eugene (Galekovic).
"We have the home advantage. We know if we play well, we can go through."
Meanwhile City coach John van't Schip has implored his troops to step up their game in the first final between the clubs in the history of the competition, rather than just rely on Fornaroli.
"You can't just click your fingers and say 'Bruno's going to steal the show' - it's hard work and opponent could have a good day," he said.
"The boys are going to be up to it and make sure we can do it differently to the last game, because that wasn't the way we wanted to play."
Van't Schip said he would address the bad blood from the last time both sides met, but added he would not make a big deal fussing over it.
Despite being without attacking Novillo, City will go in to the match confident, having beaten Adelaide twice at Coopers Stadium this season.
Van't Schip said Socceroos right-back Ivan Franjic (hamstring) was no chance of playing tonight, but would be a slight chance of taking the field if his team qualified for the grand final.