The Glory and Wanderers have only played each other three times with Perth yet to register a win against the Hyundai A-League’s newest side. All three games have been decided by one goal or less and the fourth encounter between these two sides this Sunday at Pirtek Stadium is shaping up to be just as even.
The Glory and Wanderers have only played each other three times with Perth yet to register a win against the Hyundai A-League-s newest side. All three games have been decided by one goal or less and the fourth encounter between these two sides this Sunday at Pirtek Stadium is shaping up to be just as even.
Perth Glory are on the rise under new Interim Head Coach Kenny Lowe and have not been beaten in four games, while the minor premiers from last season are in a bit of a form slump, after losing their past two matches and having only won once in their past five attempts.
Glory-s playing list all of a sudden looks a lot healthier than it did a few weeks ago. Shane Smeltz is due to play his third match in a row, William Gallas managed to get through his first 45 minutes unscathed following a seven week injury lay-off, while Josh Risdon made a significant contribution off the bench last week in his first senior appearance since Round 2.
The club has also bolstered its attacking prowess by signing three extra players during the week - fringe-Socceroo Rostyn Griffiths, 27-year-old attacking-midfielder Nebojša Marinkovic and Lithuanian international striker Darvydas Sernas.
Marinkovic is a former Serbian U21 player who has played at some of the most hostile stadiums in Europe. He has been included in the travelling squad for the Wanderer-s match while Griffiths and Sernas are yet to receive their clearances and will have to bide their time for another week.
Smeltz, Gallas, Risdon and Marinkovic-s experience could prove to be crucial for Perth if they are to continue their resilient form in the intimidating atmosphere of Pirtek Stadium, which has been averaging crowds of 15,086 fans.
Lowe said the extra signings gave him a nice selection headache but he still didn-t feel as though the team was firing on all cylinders.
“We now have an abundance of quality in the midfield area so it creates great competition for places in the team,” Lowe said.
“I think we-re underdone. Let-s be honest, we-ve got new lads coming in who are not acclimatised, we-ve got the older boys who are coming back from injuries who are not really ready for full game time and we-ve got the young lads who are lacking a bit of experience.”
“We-ll go over there and enjoy ourselves and we-ll give a good account of ourselves but we-re a long, long way from being a fully, homogenous, top-running team at the present-second.”
Perth are in the middle of a tough three-match stretch against three of the top four sides (Brisbane, WSW and Melbourne Victory next Friday night) although Lowe said there were no easy games in the Hyundai A-League. Glory managed to graft out a point against the Brisbane Roar last Friday night and keep their unbeaten streak alive and Lowe is expecting the Western Sydney clash to be just as close.
“I think all the games now leading into the finals (are tough) because it-s such a tight environment down there. You could pick anyone from nine to go into the finals.”
“Wanderers - they-re a top, top team. They-re competitive, they-re physical and they play a counter-attacking game, generally,” he said.
“They-re dangerous. They-re actually dangerous when we-ve got the ball because as soon as you lose it, they-re down the other end with the quality and energy they-ve got, so obviously we-re going to have to be on our toes. I-m sure Popa (Tony Popovic) won-t want that five gamer running into a six gamer. I-m sure he-ll have them fired up knowing him.”
The Wanderers have a number of quality players who can hurt opposition teams on any given day.
Foreign players, Youssouf Hersi and Shinji Ono, continue to pull the strings in midfield and setup strikers Tomi Juric and Mark Bridge. Juric has played the last two games after missing the previous five rounds through injury. The 189 cm striker has five goals to his name this season and is in the mix for the golden boot award, while Bridge is also enjoying a productive year with four goals to his name.
INJURY UPDATE Travis Dodd - Indefinite (Knee) Scott Jamieson - Indefinite (Achilles)
Sunday, 26th January 2014 Western Sydney Wanderers v Perth Glory Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta Kick-off: 7:00pm local (7:00pm AEDT) Referee: Strebre Delovski
TV Broadcast: 7.00pm (AEDT) Live and exclusive coverage on FOX Sports 1HD and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand).
Radio Broadcast: ABC Grandstand Full coverage Online/Mobile phone app Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #WSWvPER To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets
Western Sydney Wanderers Squad: 1.Ante COVIC (gk), 2.Shannon COLE, 3.Adam D-APUZZO, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5.Michael BEAUCHAMP (c), 7.Labinot HALITI, 9.Tomi JURIC, 10.Aaron MOOY, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Tahj MINNIECON, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 14.Kwabena APPIAH, 17.Youssouf HERSI, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Jerrad TYSON (gk) , 21.Shinji ONO, 22.Dean HEFFERNAN, 23.Jason TRIFIRO **Two to be omitted**
Ins: 12.Tahj MINNIECON, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 14.Kwabena APPIAH (all promoted) Outs: 28.Alusine FOFANAH, 32.Daniel ALESSI Unavailable: 18.Iacopo LA ROCCA (injured - 2 weeks)
Perth Glory Squad: 1.Daniel VUKOVIC (GK), 2.Jack CLISBY, 6.Cameron EDWARDS, 7.Jacob BURNS, 8.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 10.Jamie MACLAREN, 11.Adrian ZAHRA, 14.Steven McGARRY, 15.Isaka CERNAK, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES, 17.Chris HAROLD, 18.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 19.Josh RISDON, 23.Michael THWAITE, 24.Matthew DAVIES, 25.Riley WOODCOCK, 36.William GALLAS **Two to be omitted **
Ins: 10.Jamie MACLAREN (returns from injury), 8. Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 18.Jack DUNCAN (returns from International Duty) Outs 39.Luke RADONICH (GK) Unavailable: Travis DODD (knee - indefinite), Scott JAMIESON (achilles - indefinite)
GLORY REVIEW - ROUND 15 Perth Glory 0-0 Brisbane Roar Nib Stadium Friday 17th January Attendance: 11,026 Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Perth Glory: 1.Daniel VUKOVIC (GK), 7.Jacob BURNS, 11.Adrian ZAHRA, 14.Steven McGARRY, 15.Isaka CERNAK (9.Shane SMELTZ 56-), 16.Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES, 17.Chris HAROLD, 23.Michael THWAITE, 24.Matthew DAVIES (19.Josh RISDON 66-), 25.Riley WOODCOCK, 36.William GALLAS (2.Jack CLISBY 46-) Subs not used: 39.Luke RADONICH (GK), 6.Cameron EDWARDS Bookings: 7.Jacob BURNS (26-), 1.Daniel VUKOVIC (33-), 11.Adrian ZAHRA (58-)
Brisbane Roar: 1.Michael THEO, 2.Matthew SMITH (c), 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 7.Besart BERISHA, 10.HENRIQUE (28.Brandon BORRELLO 83-), 11.Liam MILLER (23.Dimitri PETRATOS 80-), 13.Jade NORTH, 17.Matt McKAY, 18.Luke BRATTAN, 19.Jack HINGERT, 22.Thomas BROICH, 35.Jai INGHAM
Subs not used: 20.Matthew ACTON (gk), 35.Jai INGHAM Bookings: 7.Besart BERISHA (1-, 31-), 11.Liam MILLER (34-), 13.Jade NORTH (69-), 19.Jack HINGERT (90-)