Swaps set to add fuel to A-League rivalry

Adrian Warren
James Troisi will face Melbourne Victory for the first time since joining Adelaide United

Adelaide United recruit James Troisi says the moves involving himself and Melbourne Victory coach Marco Kurz will add more fuel to the A-League rivalry between the two clubs.

Socceroos midfielder Troisi moved across from Victory last month and Melbourne swooped on Kurz to replace Kevin Muscat, after the German coach's contract wasn't renewed by Adelaide.

The two teams clash at Coopers Stadium on Saturday in what Troisi rated as probably the biggest home game of the season for United.

With no other South Australian A-League club, Troisi said the match against Victory was Adelaide's equivalent of a derby given the great rivalry and history between the two clubs.

"I guess this one (on Saturday) is a little bit more enhanced because Marco has gone to Victory and I've come to Adelaide, so there's obviously a bit more fuel to the fire to this one, it's going to be a nice occasion."

He said the Adelaide players hadn't spoken much this week about facing their old coach.

"You've just got to move on and we've got a new gaffer now," Troisi said.

Asked if the players would take excitement out of a win over their old coach, Troisi chuckled and said "I guess that depends on what kind of relationship they had with him."

Under new coach Gertjan Verbeek Adelaide are fifth, three places and as many points ahead of Victory, who have played one more game.

"Not too much has changed in terms of his (Kurz's) tactics and the way he wants to play, but ultimately it's completely new and different players," Troisi said.

"They haven't had a good start but they've got some good players, so if you get complacent they can punish you."

Troisi said Adelaide's leading scorer Riley McGree had been mentally strong since learning of his suspension from the Olyroos.

McGree and three players from other clubs were found to have committed "unprofessional conduct" over an incident involving a woman in Cambodia in March.

"It's good that it's resolved now and he can just kick on and continue to do what he's doing, focus on his football," Troisi said.

"He's been pretty mentally strong and just come in every day and gone about his business.

"He's doing well, he's playing playing some good football and scoring some goals as well and we need him to continue to do that.

"We need more from him and I'm sure as the season goes on he'll get better and better."