3 key match-ups: Perth Glory v Sydney FC

Perth are building momentum again in the race for the Premiers’ Plate and face a huge challenge as a wounded Sydney FC come to town in a Friday night blockbuster at nib Stadium.

The Sky Blues are undefeated on their travels this season and took all three points on their last visit to nib Stadium recently. 

Graham Arnold's men are the league's best on the road, while Glory's amazing team spirit has them poised for a Premiers' Plate. 

Glory come in on the back of a good win; Sydney a shock home loss. 

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REPORT: Sydney FC v Adelaide United

We look ahead to three crucial match-ups in what should be a ripper of a contest between these two-top six outfits this weekend. 

Glory defender Dino Djulbic v Sky Blues central striker Marc Janko

You won’t want to take your eyes of this contest between two of the fiercest competitors in the Hyundai A-League.

Djulbic epitomizes what Glory has built their success on this season.

Tough as nails, fearless and a consistent performer in defence. Djulbic has been a warrior for Kenny Lowe’s men this campaign. 

He leads the Glory side in clearances and in last week’s clash with Newcastle Jets threw his body on the line on more than one occasion to deny a goal.

The hard-tackling centre-back will need to draw on all his big-game experience and win-at-all-costs mentality in his battle with Janko.

Sydney FC’s giant striker is in somewhat of a goal-scoring drought for his standards, failing to find the net in his last two appearances.

But with 16 goals for the campaign, including scoring in a record seven-straight games, he remains a massive threat. 

It’s not just his aerial prowess which the home side will need to contend with but Janko is deceptively quick for a big man and has the knack of getting in between the central defenders with his movement.

Get ready for an epic tussle and we can’t wait to see which way this one goes. 

Big Dino v Big Janko... let's get ready to rumble!

Glory midfielder Rostyn Griffiths v Sydney attacking midfielder Alex Brosque

Brosque has been deployed in the ‘No.10’ role for the Sky Blues for much of the season and has done a superb job being the link between the midfield and prolific striker Marc Janko.

While he might only have three goals to his name for the season, he has been a key contributor in attack in areas that don’t always get noticed on the stats sheet.

Brosque still possesses a good turn of speed and has bucket-loads of experience. 

The Sydney captain has a free rein under Graham Arnold, often drifting into space on either flank to help combine with his wingers.

It will be interesting to see how Griffiths handles Brosque’s mobility and work-rate in Glory’s defensive third.

The Perth midfielder has done a good job shackling some of the Hyundai A-League’s best playmakers this season but this is a different challenge.

Does Griffiths follow Brosque into the wide areas and potentially leave the central area exposed or does he leave him and potentially enable the Sky Blues man to penetrate in wide areas? 

It’s a big decision and one which could ultimately prove decisive in which side comes out on top.

With three goals to his name for the season as well, the tall Griffiths also looms as a big danger for the Sky Blues at set pieces.

Glory striker Andy Keogh v Sydney defender Jacques Faty

Two internationals, two big-game performers. 

Keogh, the Irish international, hasn’t been as prolific of late as he was at the start of the season but you get the feeling he will lift for the huge end-of-season fixtures.

He snapped a three-game run without a goal by scoring the opener in Easter Monday’s 2-0 win over Newcastle, his 11th goal of the season to move equal third on the goal-scorers charts alongside Besart Berisha.

While he might not be showing the same explosiveness as the start of the season, his finishing in the box is second to none.

The Sky Blues can’t afford to leave him alone when crosses come into the box because the 28-year-old will make them pay.

The man trying to stop Keogh on Saturday night is Senegal international Faty.

It’s been a roller-coaster start to Faty’s Sky Blues career, only managing a handful of appearances due to injury as well as suspension after being sent off in the last clash against Glory.

The 31-year-old will feel he owes his team-mates for that lack of discipline. 

Faty will relish the physical battle that Keogh is sure to provide. Will the Irishman wind him up and try get him in the book early? 

Expect some fiery exchanges between these two who will undoubtedly throw their bodies into every challenge.

Along with the titanic Djulbic v Janko match up, this will be a crunching fixture at the home of the Glory.