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Elrich, Nichols back recruits for grand final rematch

When Adelaide United host Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday night, a pair of recruits from each club are expected to shine

Tarek Elrich expects James Holland and Sergi Guardiola to be even better for Adelaide United in their grand final rematch against Western Sydney Wanderers.

Adelaide will host the wounded Wanderers on Friday night, the first time the two clubs have met since the Reds triumphed 3-1 in last season's A-League grand final.

Holland and Guardiola made encouraging debuts in Adelaide's 1-1 draw at Newcastle Jets last week and are set to make their first appearances at Coopers Stadium to open Round 2.

Despite being around the squad for less than two weeks before the start of the season, Holland and Guardiola have already impressed team-mate Elrich.

"Having only a week-and-a-half of training, you saw their quality," Elrich told The Advertiser.

"They add a different dynamic."

Adelaide have a great recent record against Western Sydney, losing just once in the last nine meetings between the two clubs.

But Elrich expects the Wanderers - one of his former A-League clubs - to bring a lot of intensity to Coopers Stadium.

Tony Popovic's side head to South Australia not only seeking revenge for the grand final defeat in May but also keen to bounce back from last weekend's 4-0 derby hammering against Sydney FC.

Wanderers attacking midfielder Mitch Nichols reckons Popovic's new attacking imports will ensure the Red-and-Black challenge for A-League honours again in 2016-17.

Japanese winger Jumpei and Argentine playmaker Nicolas Martinez impressed in the Sydney derby despite the poor result.

"There's a long season ahead and we can turn this around," Nichols said.

"He's [Jumpei] a very good player. He's only going to grow and get used to the league. He showed his quality [in the Sydney Derby] and it's just the beginning for him.

"And Nico [Martinez] looked sharp when he came on and we've got a good squad."

Western Sydney have only won once in their past five trips to Adelaide, while they have never claimed victory in the opening two rounds of an A-League season.