After a two month hiatus fringe Socceroo, Mitch Nichols could be pulling on his boots and purple strip for Perth Glory FC this weekend, after suffering a hamstring injury in December.
After an intensive rehabilitation program, the 25-year old influential playmaker is set for his comeback match against Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Sunday.
“I’m looking forward to it, it’s been a long time out on the sidelines and I’m keen to get back onto the park and hopefully help out the boys this weekend” Nichols said.
“I hope to get some minutes on the pitch but that’s up to the coach, obviously he’ll want to put the best team out come Sunday, but if I can get some match time against City that will go a long way in getting me match fit, but the priority is obviously getting the three points” he said
Glory captain Michael Thwaite said he was looking forward to Nichols’ possible return.
“He’s a very talented player he’s had a lot of problems as well with his injury but he’s been training well and is looking forward to coming away with us “ Thwaite said.
Also boosting the squad’s will be the return of big defender Dino Djulbic who was suspended for one match after being sent off against Sydney FC in Round 16.
Thwaite said he was excited at the prospect of his close mate lining up on the weekend.
“He’s my partner in crime at the back but it’s up to Kenny to see how it all fits, Denis (Kramar) has been solid since he arrived two weeks ago so it’s a good headache for the coach to have”.
Perth secured a vital point against Adelaide United last weekend, which saw the men in purple retain their position as Hyundai A-League leaders for the 14th consecutive week.
City also drew in their last start, holding Wellington Phoenix to a nil all draw, but a point wasn’t enough to stop City from dropping out of the top six for the first time since round 10.
The last time the two sides met was Boxing Day last year, when Richard Garcia’s header proved enough to seal a point for Glory, who fell behind courtesy of Aaron Mooy’s 49th minute opener.
City received a blow of epic proportions on Wednesday with confirmation that Irish International, Damien Duff, would likely spend the rest of the season on the sidelines.
The winger ruptured a tendon in his calf and damaged ligaments in his ankle in the 0-0 draw against Wellington.
Also missing from the City line-up will be defenders Robbie Wielaert and Ben Garuccio (both ankle).
However, former Newcastle Jets skipper, Kew Jaliens may feature after he signed a short-term injury replacement contract with City on Wednesday.
Kick off for the match is at 2pm (WST) with live updates available via our twitter feed, @PerthGloryFC.
Sunday, 22 February 2015
Melbourne City FC v Perth Glory
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-Off: 5:00 PM (Local) (5:00 PM AEDT)
Referee: Jarred Gillett
Assistant Referee 1: Brad Hobson
Assistant Referee 2: Luke Brennan
Fourth Official: Lucien LA verdure
TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 3.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 1 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #MCYvPER
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 4.Connor CHAPMAN, 5.Erik PAARTALU, 6.Aaron MOOY, 7.Iain RAMSAY, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA, 10.Robert KOREN, 13.Jonatan GERMANO, 15.David WILLIAMS, 16.Josh KENNEDY, 17.Jason HOFFMAN, 18.Paulo RETRE, 20.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 22.Jack CLISBY, 24.Patrick KISNORBO, 25.Jacob MELLING, 29.Safuwan BAHARUDIN, Kew JALIENS (number TBC)
***two to be omitted***
Ins: 5.Erik PAARTALU (returns from injury), 13.Jonatan GERMANO (promoted), Kew JALIENS (pending clearance)
Outs: 11.Damien DUFF (ankle/calf – indefinite)
Unavailable: 3.Robbie WIELAERT (ankle – 6-7 weeks), 14.James BROWN (knee – 1-2 weeks), 19.Ben GARUCCIO (ankle – 10 weeks), 23.Mate DUGANDZIC (knee – 1-2 weeks)
Perth Glory squad: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk) 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 14.Chris Harold, 15.Jamie MACLAREN, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA, 17.Mitch NICHOLS, 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***
Ins: 6.Dino DJULBIC (returns from suspension), 17.Mitch NICHOLS (promoted), 18.Jack DUNCAN (gk) (promoted), 20.Daniel DE SILVA (promoted)
Outs: 3.Brandon O'NEILL (not selected), 30.Jordan Thurtell (GK) (not selected)
Unavailable: 7.Youssouf HERSI (hamstring – season), 13.Diogo FEREIRA (hip – 4 weeks)