Italian striker Benito Carbone will make his A-League debut for Sydney FC, but Adelaide United's attack will be without its two international stars for Monday's meeting at Hindmarsh Stadium.
United has lost Brazilian attacking midfielder Fernando Rech for up to six games with a knee injury, while Chinese striker Shengquing Qu is due to miss two games through suspension.
Between them, Rech and Qu have scored four of Adelaide's eight goals so far this season.
Bobby Petta and 18-year-old Nathan Burns are expected to be their replacements in the starting side.
While United has been stripped of potency, Sydney has upped its firepower, with Monday's match to be the first of four as a guest player for Carbone.
The 35-year-old comes with the pedigree of having played with Inter Milan in Italy's Serie A and Sheffield Wednesday and Middlesbrough in the English Premier League.
Sydney are hopeful Carbone will settle in well enough to sign on fulltime and fill the marquee player position recently vacated by Dwight Yorke.
In a further boost, defender Alvin Ceccoli will make his return, after serving a club-imposed one-game suspension for swearing at coach Terry Butcher.
Sydney and Adelaide have enjoyed a spirited rivalry on and off the field since the A-League started, with Ceccoli a central figure in the most recent chapter.
He was sent off in a pre-season match against United for swearing at the assistant referee, after a fiery on-field battle with Adelaide captain Ross Aloisi.
While Sydney was happy to get the three points in its last start, a 1-0 win in New Zealand, it would be looking for an improved performance on that grinding victory if it is to win at Hindmarsh.
United has run into some strong form in recent weeks after starting with consecutive away losses, against Melbourne and New Zealand.
Adelaide has since notched a 5-1 victory over Newcastle and a 3-0 win over Perth, both at home, with its last outing a creditable 0-0 away draw with Queensland Roar.