Adelaide Utd coach ponders FFA Cup puzzle

Adelaide United expect Ben Halloran to be fit for the FFA Cup final.
Adelaide United expect Ben Halloran to be fit for the FFA Cup final.

Adelaide United coach Gertjan Verbeek says he still has some player puzzles to solve before settling on his side for Wednesday night's FFA Cup final against Melbourne City.

The Reds, seeking consecutive cups and a third title since the tournament's inception in 2014, have ruled out attacker George Blackwood (hip), midfielder Mirko Boland (hamstring) and defender Jordan Elsey (knee).

Marquee signing James Troisi remains unavailable given he's yet to debut for the Reds this season.

But Verbeek says winger Ben Halloran should overcome illness in time for the decider at Adelaide's Coopers Stadium.

"Yesterday he trained ... he seems fit," Verbeek told reporters on Tuesday.

Halloran was a late withdrawal from Sunday's A-League fixture between the cup finalists which City won 2-1 in Melbourne.

Defender Yared Abetew made his league debut on Sunday but was substituted at halftime because of an ankle injury - his loss for the cup final is covered by the return from suspension of regular right-back Ryan Strain.

Verbeek said Adelaide would adopt similar attack-minded tactics as deployed against City on Sunday and also in three preseason friendlies between the clubs.

Despite the recent familiarity between the teams, City coach Erick Mombaerts said he might have a surprise in store for the Reds.

"I'm not sure they want to change ... but maybe we try also to surprise them with some new pattern of play or new tactics," Mombaerts told reporters.

Mombaerts said Sunday's league win was a confidence booster for his players but warned improvement was required to claim the cup.

"I hope we can have the same result but I think that we have to play better if we want to win again," he said.

"It is better for the players to win to increase the confidence, yes, but ... we weren't very happy - happy to win, but about the style we want to set up, not so happy.

"We need to better control the game the whole time in 90 minutes, or maybe even more."

Adelaide captain Michael Jakobsen discounted any great relevance of Sunday's fixture to the cup decider.

"It's a final so we we need to go in and give everything - it's not the same as last weekend, you can't really use that game too much," Jakobsen told reporters.

"It's a new game, a new opportunity."

Australian Associated Press