A wounded and weary Melbourne Victory end their week in Perth against improving Glory. After losing in Wellington Tuesday night, second-placed Victory cannot afford another loss as they chase Sydney FC.
Saturday, 21 January 2017
Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory
nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-Off: 5:00PM (Local) (8:00PM (AEDT))
Referee: Peter Green
Assistant Referee 1: Nathan MacDonald
Assistant Referee 2: Ashley Beecham
Fourth Official: Adam Fielding
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.45pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: ABC Radio Perth, ABC Radio Melbourne, ABC Local Radio WA/Vic Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live, 1116 SEN (Melbourne)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #PERvMVC
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au
Perth Glory squad: 3.Marc WARREN, 4.Shane LOWRY, 5.Rhys WILLIAMS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 13.Nicholas FEELY (gk), 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Joe MILLS, 17.Diego CASTRO, 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Aryn WILLIAMS, 22.Adam TAGGART, 23.Kosta PETRATOS, 24.Milan SMILJANIC, 33.Liam REDDY (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Rhys WILLIAMS (promoted), 6.Dino DJULBIC (returns from suspension), 22.Aryn WILLIAMS (promoted), 23.Kosta PETRATOS (promoted)
Outs: 2.Alex GRANT (foot – 4 weeks), 8.Rostyn GRIFFITHS (suspended)
Unavailable: 18.Mitch OXBORROW (foot – 4 weeks)
Melbourne Victory squad: 4.Nick ANSELL, 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Marco ROJAS, 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Max BEISTER, 10.James TROISI, 11.Mitch AUSTIN, 13.Oliver BOZANIC, 15.Alan BARO, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 17.James DONACHIE, 19.George HOWARD, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI (c), 22.Stefan NIGRO, 23.Jai INGHAM, 40.Matt ACTON (gk)
Ins: 16.Rashid MAHAZI (promoted), 19.George HOWARD (promoted), 22.Stefan NIGRO (promoted), 23.Jai INGHAM (promoted)
Outs: 2.Jason GERIA (suspended – 1 match), 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH (suspended – 1 match)
Unavailable: 27.Alastair BRAY (gk) (shoulder – indefinite)
In recent history, Victory haven’t enjoyed their trips away to play Glory. And they come to Perth at the back end of an exhausting week.
Over the last few years the Big V haven’t managed a win in five visits to nib (including the Westfield FFA Cup in 2014), drawing two and losing three.
So this looms as a massive test for Kevin Muscat’s side, coming off a humbling 3-0 loss to Phoenix in cold and windy Wellington on Tuesday night.
Throw in the fact it will be their third match in eight days with long flights to Wellington (return) and then Perth and you would understand if they show a few signs of fatigue late on in this one.
For that reason it would come as no surprise if Musky makes a few changes to his side, especially with a massive Big Blue against Sydney FC coming up on the Thursday after this clash on Australia Day
All of that is of little concern to Glory boss Kenny Lowe, who will just want his side to continue their excellent run of form.
Sunday’s come-from-behind draw against Newcastle made it four games unbeaten for the men in purple, who appear on track for one of their now trademark surges in the second half of the season.
Some of their football in the first 25 minutes against the Jets was the best we’ve seen this season, with Castro, Keogh, Taggart and Harold combining beautifully in the front third.
A foot injury to centre-back Alex Grant has seen Rhys Williams promoted to Glory’s squad after a long spell seemingly out of favour with Lowe. Dino Djulbic and Aryn Williams are other options, while Victory are without suspended pair Jason Geria and Fahid Ben Khalfallah. Daniel Georgievski and Mitch Austin the pair most likely to replace them
ROUTE TO GOAL
Despite their humbling loss in Wellington, Victory’s front-four have been ultra-impressive so far this season.
They are the competition’s leading scorers and with Berisha, Rojas and Troisi all in devastating nick, are always a threat.
It’s the period from 15-30 minutes where the Big V are most dangerous, scoring 10 of their 35 goals in that 15-minute period of games.
While the previous meeting between these sides this season finished in a 1-1 draw at AAMI Park, it didn’t really tell the whole story.
Victory created a stack of chances but wasted most of them, while Glory scored with their only shot on target, thanks to a clinical Andy Keogh.
But Glory’s attack has improved since then, with Castro back from injury and fully fit, while Caltex Socceroo Taggart has found his mojo in front of goal. “Taggs” has bagged four in his last five start as he rebuilds his career.
But defence remains Perth’s main issue, averaging two goals against per game, with only Central Coast Mariners leaking more goals than Lowe’s side.
The injury to centre-back Grant won’t help their cause, either.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Adam Taggart. He looks fit, sharp and confident in front of goal, with four in his last five starts. His combination with Keogh has the potential to light up the Hyundai A-League. Can they combine to topple Victory?
FORM LINES (last five games)
Perth Glory 1-2 Melbourne Victory