Hyundai A-League Leaders Perth Glory FC will cross the Nullarbor as THE TEAM to beat this weekend, when Kenny Lowe marshals his troops into Coopers Stadium to take on Adelaide United on Sunday.
Perth Glory FC will be looking to maintain its perfect record against the fourth-placed Reds, who are on a high after beating Sydney FC 3-1 in the mid-week quarter finals of the Westfield FFA Cup. The South Australians were also unlucky not to defeat Melbourne Victory in Round 2 at Adelaide Oval. An 89th minute strike from Victory’s Fahid Ben Khalfallah was enough to cancel out Sergio Cirio’s impressive effort four minutes earlier and force the teams to share the points.
Perth Glory FC Head Coach Kenny Lowe is wary of the threat Adelaide pose to the Glory’s top-of-the-table position.
“They play quality football coming out the back, they’re dangerous upfront, they’ve got some very good midfield players,” Lowe said.
“You’ve seen them play well against big teams already; they’ve played Sydney, they’ve played Brisbane and top teams, so they’ll do very well.”
“They play a fantastic brand of football. For me, they’re a top two side.”
Lowe was particularly impressed with Gombau’s Hispanic quintet of Marcelo Carrusca, Pablo Sanchez, Isaias Sanchez, Fabio Ferreira and Sergio Cirio.
“They’ve got five European players that are top notch, and they are a super side. They’ll be up there,” Lowe said.
But a buoyant Perth Glory FC could not be better prepared for the clash in the City of Churches.
The West Australians boast the league’s leading goal scorer in Andy Keogh, who has scored four goals in two matches. The Hyundai A-League top goal scorer bagged an impressive hat-trick against defending champions Brisbane Roar at nib Stadium last week, and is likely to be the focus of United’s back men. But the talented Irishman is fully focused on his game.
"I feel good, I'm just happy, I'm just playing football and happy with my team mates and my surroundings,” said Keogh.
“I got my family here, I'm just in a happy place and hopefully that continues".
It will be a tough task for the Glory, who have failed to claim victory over the Reds in six attempts, with their last win away in Adelaide in March 2012.
The boys from the West will also be missing Josh Risdon, who succumbed to an ankle injury late in the match against Roar, but Head Coach Kenny Lowe expects him to return in time for the clash against Newcastle Jets in a fortnight.
“We have the same squad more or less; Rizzo’s got a tweak which he’ll be out for a week maybe,” Lowe said.
“He’s tweaked his ankle. I think when he came down on Sunday, he stood on (Luke) Brattan’s foot and just got imbalanced and just rolled over on it. Hopefully it’s not too bad.”
A win for Glory and the team could head back home 4 points clear at the top on the table if other results go Perth’s way.
The match in Adelaide kicks off at Coopers Stadium at 2pm AWST and will be broadcast on Fox Sports 1.
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The match against Adelaide United this weekend will be both Richard Garcia and Youssouf Hersi’s 50th Hyundai A-League game. If Mitch Nichols is selected in the first XI, it will be his 150th match staring in the Hyundai A-League.
Season 1 – November 6 2005
Adelaide United 2 – 4 Perth Glory FC
(Veart 13’, Rees 53’ - Mori 9’, 34’, 45’ Despotovski 39pen’)
Perth Glory FC became the first team to put four past Adelaide United in the Hyundai A-League era when Perth Glory FC legend Damian Mori scored a first half hat-trick against the Reds.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Adelaide United – Marcelo Carrusca
The silky smooth Argentine has taken the Hyundai A-League by storm since arriving in August 2012. The ex-Estudiantes and Galatasary midfielder has added much needed creativity and flair to the South Australian outfit, and was a major part of the Reds qualification for the Hyundai A-League Finals last season. Carrusca impressed on Tuesday night in the Westfield FFA Cup, providing two assists for Bruce Djite in Adelaide United’s 3-1 victory over Sydney FC in the Westfield FFA Cup. Glory will have to be focused to dampen the creativity of the 31-year-old Argentine.
Perth Glory FC – Jamie Maclaren
While Andy Keogh has deservingly received the plaudits for his hat-trick against Brisbane Roar last weekend, the performance of 21-year-old impact substitute Jamie Maclaren flew under the radar. After coming on at half-time, Maclaren changed the dynamic of the game; injecting speed and fluidity to Glory’s gameplay as they trailed Brisbane Roar 1-0. The former Blackburn Rovers youth academy has also impressed in earlier matches, particularly with an impressive lob against St. Albans Saints in the Westfield FFA Cup and a match-winning strike against Wellington Phoenix in Round 1. Head Coach Kenny Lowe has been full of praise for the former Young Socceroos striker who has shed 6kgs in the off-season, and has “shattered” all his fitness records at training. Whether he starts or comes off the bench, expect him to trouble the Adelaide United backline this weekend.
PREDICTED STARTING XI
Perth Glory FC
1.Daniel VUKOVIC (GK) 2.Jack CLISBY, 3.Brandon O’NEILL, 4.Riley WOODCOCK , 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Youssouf HERSI, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebosja MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 13.Diogo FERREIRA, 15.Jamie MACLAREN, 17.Mitch NICHOLS,18.Jack DUNCAN (GK), 20.Daniel DE SILVA , 21.Scott JAMIESON, 23.Michael THWAITE (c), 24.Matt DAVIES
***two to be omitted***
Ins: 4.Riley WOODCOCK (promoted), 18. Jack DUNCAN (GK) (promoted), 20.Daniel DE SILVA (promoted), 24.Matt DAVIES (promoted)
Outs: 19.Josh RISDON (ankle – 1 week), 30.Jordan THURTELL (omitted)
Unavailable: 16.Sidnei SCIOLA (calf), 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH (back), Chris HAROLD (thigh), 26.Harry O’BRIEN (groin)
1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (c) (GK), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Osama MALIK, 6.CÁSSIO, 7.PABLO SÁNCHEZ, 8.ISAÍAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE, 16.Craig GOODWIN, 17.Awer MABIL, 18.Jimmy JEGGO, 20.Paul IZZO (GK), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Fabio FERREIRA, 32.Nathan KOSTANDOPOULOS
***two to be omitted***
Ins: 6.CÁSSIO (promoted), 17.Awer MABIL (return from international duty), 20.Paul IZZO (GK) (return from international duty), 32.Nathan KOSTANDOPOULOS (promoted)
Outs: 24.Bruce KAMAU (omitted), 30.John HALL (GK) (omitted)
Unavailable: Cameron WATSON (toe – 2-3 weeks), Jordan ELSEY (wrist – 5 weeks), 15.Ben WARLAND (ankle – 4 weeks)
TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 1HD & 1 from 2.00pm (AWST) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 891 ABC Adelaide, Local Radio SA, ABC Grandstand Digital, Online/A-League Live Mobile phone app