Adelaide United goalkeeper James Delianov fronts the media at Coopers Stadium today. (Photo: Adelaide United)

With a defensive group that has largely flown under the radar so far in 2021/22, Adelaide United keeper James Delianov is confident in his side coming into Saturday night's Original Rivalry match.

The undefeated Reds host long-time rivals Melbourne Victory – who are coming off a loss – on Saturday night at Coopers Stadium.

Adelaide United has been one of the hardest teams to get a read on through the first three weeks of the season. Carl Veart’s men have secured three consecutive draws against Perth, Melbourne City, and Brisbane and have played some good football in patches.

22-year-old Reds goalkeeper James Delianov spoke to the media today and detailed that while the Reds are winless, there are positive signs to come out of the weekend’s game.

“The football we played was good in patches. We created a lot of chances and unfortunately we couldn’t get the win,” Delianov said.

“Obviously we like to win games but at least we aren’t losing. It’s something that we can be positive about and keep building on.”

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United’s defensive performances have gone under the radar of sorts. The side has only conceded three goals from its three games with two coming against City.

Delianov believes that the group as a defensive unit is getting better every week.

“As a goalkeeper, you want to be as quiet as possible. But every week we are building, and I think we are quite solid there.”

Delianov looking forward to the challenge

Hostilities will be renewed on Saturday night when Victory makes the trip across the border.

The games between Adelaide and Melbourne are often not for the faint-hearted. Known colloquially as ‘The Original Rivalry’, several contests between the teams have been fiery affairs.

Tony Popovic’s Melbourne Victory presents a tough challenge for Adelaide. Victory succumbed to their first loss of the season against Perth, thanks largely in part to Rai Marchán’s red card.

The 3-0 loss will be a wake-up call for Victory, and Delianov knows what to expect from a side coached by Popovic.

“Obviously they are a great side, really well organised so we are looking forward to it and doing everything we can to prepare for them,” Delianov said.

“With Popovic coming in, [I’ve] got a lot of respect for him. He’s a top coach and he’s brought in some good players, and we are up for the challenge and really looking forward to it.”

With United unbeaten and Victory coming off its first loss of the season, there will be plenty riding on the outcome of this match.

Delianov knows that the Adelaide United faithful will turn out in their thousands and get behind the home side.

“Usually it is a really good turnout. Expecting a full house and usually the red army and the rest of the crew here get around us, so looking forward to it.”

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