Battle of the big guns
Adriano Pellegrino says Perth will take a proactive plan into Sunday’s clash against an in-form Melbourne side, insisting the Glory are ready to dictate terms to the reigning champions.
Adriano Pellegrino says Perth will take a proactive plan into Sunday-s clash against an in-form Melbourne side, insisting the Glory are ready to dictate terms to the reigning champions.
In a clash of contrasting styles, the Glory will take their wider style, where they often use the wings for attacks, against a more compact Victory side that tends to play through the middle of the park.
Both Perth and Melbourne have been peppering the goals this season, Glory hitting the back of the net 17 times while the Victory have upped their ante of late and have 20 goals from the opening dozen rounds.
The Glory have dominated contests at ME Bank Stadium claiming wins in their last four meetings at the ground and will be keen to extend that record after two narrow losses on the road over the past fortnight. The Victory meantime has won five of their last six games to set up a blockbuster encounter on Sunday.
"Melbourne's travelling very, very well," said Pellegrino.
"They've picked up some form after not starting very well and they're always a dangerous side, they've got great attacking qualities.
"They do play a little bit narrower, they try to exploit the midfield and get some more bodies in there while (Carlos) Hernandez and Archie (Thompson) float around and get that goal.
"But at the same time, we've got to worry about our game plan for this week. We'll work on that and we'll work on our consistency.
"We know we've done well against Melbourne (recently) so now we've got to pick up the points at home (again) and keep winning and getting results.”
Ironically, Pellegrino's own form this season has somewhat mirrored that of his opponents come Sunday.
Last season's Most Glorious Player struggled to assert himself on the contest during the early stages as he worked to overcome a persistent heel injury and aggressive checking from opposition sides well aware of his lethal crosses from the right.
The 25-year-old however has taken it all in his stride and built his form and confidence over the past two months to display the touch that won him Perth-s bast player last season.
"I had that recurring heel problem for a few weeks and it was a bit difficult trying to work on that and play through that and travelling at the same time," he said.
"I pulled through and that's been fine, touch wood. I've been injury free over the last couple of months.
"(But) even though you might be happy with the personal performance, it's still all about the team and working hard together as a group to maintain a good level of results.
"We-re disappointed coming off two losses but know we are playing well and just need to tidy up a few small areas to get back amongst the points.
“I know all the boys are looking forward to playing at home and with a passionate crowd behind us we-ll turn up the heat on Melbourne and get the result we-re looking for.”