Perth Glory FC kicks-off its Christmas campaign on the road and will be hoping Santa has three points in his sack, as the Hyundai A-League leaders head to AAMI Park to clash against Melbourne City this Boxing Day.
Perth has a healthy six point buffer at the top of the table after its scintillating 4-1 win over the Mariners at nib Stadium in Round 11. However its Round 12 opponents in City will head into the match on a high, after a dramatic 1-0 win over local rivals Victory. Erik Paartalu was the hero for City, scoring a thumping header in injury time to see his side rise to 6th in the Hyundai A-League.
Kenny Lowe has a plethora of attacking options available, with Chris Harold bursting back into contention with two goals and two assists in the win over the Mariners.
The Perth-born attacker was sensational in what was his first start of the season, and will be looking to nail down a spot in the starting XI. Lowe will also have the handy Josh Risdon return from suspension to slot back into his right back position.
Midfielder Rostyn Griffiths says the scheduling for the team’s next two games is a nightmare.
“It’s not nice. I think a lot of the boys want to stay with the family and enjoy Christmas day. It’s stock standard though, we’ve not got the best form of scheduling, but you know that’s the sort of sacrifice you make in professional sport” Griffiths said.
And the 26 year old warned the round 12 and 13 matches loomed as danger games.
“These two next games are going to be difficult, not the games themselves, but mentally just to be away for Christmas and to be away for New Year. So it’s all the more important that we got maximum points from our last two home games. But that said the boys are on a high and we’re on top of the league” he said.
City are expected to regain Damien Duff, who sat out the Melbourne Derby with a calf strain while Slovenian International, Robert Koren could start for the first time in City colours, having recovered well from his debut off the bench last Saturday.
Massimo Murdocca will miss out with an ankle complaint.
HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE FACT 1:
Glory is unbeaten in eight games winning their last three in a row.
HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE FACT 2:
Melbourne City is the most dangerous team from set pieces in the competition, scoring 57.1% of the time.
HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE FACT 3:
There has not been a draw between these sides in the last 10 meetings between the two (including play-offs), with City winning four times to Glory’s six.
HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE FACT 4:
Melbourne City has scored 14 goals this season, with a league high seven from headers.
HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE 5:
Glory’s wingers are not afraid to get chalk on their boots, with 212 crosses finding their way into the box at close to 27% accuracy – the best in the Hyundai A-League.
HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE FACT 6:
Perth have scored 9 (43%) of their goals in the final 15 minutes of the 90.
HYUNDAI A-LEAGUE FACT 7
Perth Glory’s Andy Keogh has been caught offside more often than any other play (27)
Friday, 26 December 2014
Melbourne City FC v Perth Glory
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-Off: 5:30 PM (Local) (5:30 PM AEDT)
Referee: Alan Milliner
Assistant Referee 1: George Lakrindis
Assistant Referee 2: Jonathan Barreiro
Fourth Official: Lucien Laverdure
Where to watch and hear the game:
TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: Online/ ABC Radio Mobile phone app
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #MCYvPER
Melbourne City FC Squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 3.Robbie WIELAERT, 4.Connor CHAPMAN, 5.Erik PAARTALU, 6.Aaron MOOY, 7.Iain RAMSAY, 10.Robert KOREN, 11.Damien DUFF, 14.James BROWN, 15.David WILLIAMS, 17.Jason HOFFMAN, 19.Benjamin GARUCCIO, 20.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 21.Stefan MAUK, 23.Mate DUGANDZIC, 24.Patrick KISNORBO (C), 25.Jacob MELLING, 27.Ross ARCHIBALD
***two to be omitted***
Ins: 11.Damien DUFF (returns from injury), 27.Ross ARCHIBALD (promoted)
Unavailable: 8.Massimo MURDOCCA (ankle – 1-2 weeks)
Perth Glory Squad: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 2.Jack CLISBY, 3.Brandon O'NEILL, 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Jamie MACLAREN, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA, 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Daniel DE SILVA, 21.Scott JAMIESON, 23.Michael THWAITE (c), 24.Matthew DAVIES, 30.Jordan THURTELL (GK)
***two to be omitted***
Ins: 2.Jack CLISBY (promoted), 19.Josh RISDON (return from suspension)
Unavailable: 7.Youssouf HERSI (Hamstring – indefinite), 17.Mitch NICHOLS (Hamstring – 6 weeks)