It’s the 'Clash of the Titans' and promises to be a season defining match when Perth Glory FC take on Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
Glory has sat at the top of the Hyundai A-League ladder for the past 16 weeks and a win over Victory will extend the team's buffer by at least another three points.
After Perth mustered a gritty 2-2 draw against Brisbane Roar in Round 19, Victory squandered a chance at home, to jump to the top of the table when it lost 3-2 to 4th placed Wellington Phoenix.
Until then, Glory was the only team to topple the Navy Blues in Victoria.
A win against Kevin Muscat’s men this weekend will see Glory become the first team to defeat Victory three times this season.
Previous clashes haven't failed to disappoint. Glory smashed Victory 4-2 in the quarter final of the FFA Cup, then 2-1 in their Round 13 league clash in Geelong.
The West Australians also scored twice in 10 minutes against Victory, to claw back a two-goal-deficit for a 3-3 draw in Round 15.
Glory’s battle against the Victorians also highlights one of the most exciting match-ups in the Hyundai A-League, with strikers Andy Keogh and Besart Berisha set to square off.
It couldn’t be a tighter match-up between the two marksmen. Both have scored in previous clashes this season and are locked on nine league goals each.
Free-kick specialist, Nebojsa Marinkovic will be focusing on his set-pieces against the Melbournians. Thirteen of Victory’s 24 conceded goals come from set pieces.
The match will also be significant for Glory goalkeeper Danny Vukovic who will earn his 100th cap for the club, while at the same time equalling Matt Thompson’s record of 221 Hyundai A-League appearances.
Vukovic has been a stalwart for the club, guiding the team to two Hyundai A-League finals appearances in three seasons, including the Grand Final in 2012 against Brisbane Roar.
Vukovic also featured for Glory in the inaugural Westfield FFA Cup final against Adelaide United in December last year.
If that's not enough reason to celebrate, the weekend will also lay the backdrop to young gun Danny De Silva's 18th birthday (Friday March 6) and when the team returns midfield dynamo Rostyn Griffiths will be celebrating his 27th birthday on Tuesday March 10.
The match in Melbourne is set to be a blockbuster as Glory and Victory battle for Hyundai A-League supremacy.
Saturday, 7 March 2015
Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-Off: 7:30 PM (Local) (7:30 PM AEDT)
Referee: Chris Beath
Assistant Referee 1: Nathan MacDonald
Assistant Referee 2: Jonathan Barriero
Fourth Official: Patrick Chaplin
TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT)
Radio Broadcast: Full call - online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app. Second Half – 774 ABC Melbourne, 720 ABC Perth, ABC Local Radio VIC & WA, Grandstand Digital Perth, Adelaide and Melbourne
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #MVCvPER
Perth Glory FC squad : 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk) 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 14.Chris Harold, 15.Jamie MACLAREN, 17.Mitch NICHOLS, 16. Sidnei SCIOLA, 18.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Daniel DE SILVA, 21.Scott JAMIESON, 23.Michael THWAITE (c), 27.Dragan PALJIC, 28.Denis KRAMAR
***two to be omitted***
IN. 8. Ruben ZADKOVICH
OUT: Brandon O'NEILL
Unavailable: 7.Youssouf HERSI (hamstring – season), 13.Diogo FEREIRA (hip – 2 weeks)
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Nathan COE (GK), 2.Jason GERIA, 4.Nick ANSELL, 5.Mark MILLIGAN (c), 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.Archie THOMPSON, 11.Connor PAIN, 13.Andrew NABBOUT, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 15.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 17.Matthieu DELPIERRE, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 21.Carl VALERI, 24.Scott GALLOWAY
***two to be omitted***
Ins: 11.Connor PAIN (promoted), 13.Andrew NABBOUT (promoted)