Perth Glory FC will be looking to return to its winning ways and ensure it remains at the top of the Hyundai A-League when it takes on FFA Cup winners Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Sunday.
Glory’s lead at the summit has been cut to just one point after a fiery clash against Sydney FC last Saturday evening. The Reds on the other hand suffered their fifth loss of the season last weekend against Central Coast, losing 2-1 despite leading for most of the match.
However with an eight day break and the expected return of midfield dynamo, Rostyn Griffiths, Glory will be confident of claiming its first win over Adelaide this season.
Griffiths will be a welcome inclusion for Glory, which missed his 83% tackling success rate as well as the aerial threat he poses.
Also pushing for inclusion will be midfielder Mitch Nichols. The 25 year old hasn’t played for the club since Round 10, but has impressed Kenny Lowe and the medical staff in training during the week.
Perth will be without stalwart defender, Dino Djulbic, after being suspended for one match following an incident in the first half with Sydney FC’s Jacques Faty at the weekend and it’s likely new signing, Denis Kramar will make his first start for the team.
Chris Harold is another possible contender who has missed the past few weeks with an ankle injury he suffered against Melbourne Victory in round 15.
Across the Nullarbor, Adelaide will be sweating on the fitness of four players, including defender Nigel Boogaard (knee), Dylan McGowan (thigh), Marcelo Carrusca (calf) and Bruce Djite (ankle).
Glory’s Richard Garcia admits the team “didn’t turn up” on the day which resulted in a 3-1 loss against Sydney FC but he’s confident the team will bounce back.
“It’s more about us finding our groove again and getting back into it. With the mid-season break it makes it a bit hard cause you’re not playing so many competitive games so we just need to get back into it” he said.
“We’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing.We’re top of the table we want to stay there”.
“It’s a slight dip, name me a team that doesn’t have a slight dip through the season... I think we’ve won ten games so far... we’re travelling well” Garcia said.
And as far as Adelaide being a so called ‘bogy’ side, Garcia had one simple message.
“They don’t have the wood over us they’ve beaten us a couple of times but we’ve beaten a few teams a couple of times too. ..but It’s important to win because we like to win” he said
If Glory can win this weekend, it will be their first over Adelaide since 2012.
Kick-off is at Coopers Stadium at 2pm WST.
Glory returns to nib Stadium for its next home match against Hyundai A-League champions Brisbane Roar on February 28.
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Hyundai A-League Fact #1
Perth Glory have only failed to score in one of their A-League games this season – this was in their third match of 2014-15 against their opponents in this match; Adelaide United.
Hyundai A-League Fact #2
Adelaide United lead the league for shots on goal (171), but they are closely followed by Perth Glory FC (163) so expect the goalkeepers to be busy!
Hyundai A-League Fact #3
Perth Glory is the most accurate crossing side in the competition with 27.6% of 293 crosses finding their target.
Hyundai A-League Fact #4
Adelaide United has conceded 38% (6) of their total goals against between the 76th and 90th minute. Perth Glory FC have scored 38% (11) of their total goals for between the 76th and 90th minute.
Perth Glory FC squad: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 3.Brandon O'NEILL, 5. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 14. Chris Harold, 15.Jamie MACLAREN, 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 18.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Daniel DE SILVA, 21.Scott JAMIESON, 23.Michael THWAITE (c), 24.Matthew DAVIES, 27.Dragan PALJIC, 28.Denis KRAMAR
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 14.Chris HAROLD, 17.Mitch NICHOLS
Outs: 4.Riley WOODCOCK, 6.Dino DJULBIC- (suspended 1 week), 16.Sidnei SCIOLA , 22.Cameron EDWARDS 24.Matthew DAVIES, 30.Jordan Thurtell (not selected)
Unavailable: 7.Youssouf HERSI (hamstring – season), 13.Diogo FEREIRA (hip – 4 weeks)