RND 22 MATCH PREVIEW - WELLINGTON PHOENIX V PERTH GLORY

Perth Glory will embark on one of the longest road trips for a domestic fixture in world football, when they travel to New Zealand to take on the Wellington Phoenix at the Westpac Stadium, in round 22 of the Hyundai A-League on Sunday. (12 noon WST)

Perth Glory will embark on one of the longest road trips for a domestic fixture in world football, when they travel to New Zealand to take on the Wellington Phoenix at the Westpac Stadium, in round 22 of the Hyundai A-League on Sunday. (12 noon WST)

The trip of 3,265 miles will be made easier if they can repeat the score line from the last time the two teams met. On that occasion the Glory thrashed Ernie Merrick-s side 4-2 at the nib Stadium in round nine, with Brazilian, Sidnei, scoring one of the goals of the season, with a stunning long-range shot. A win is vital for the side, so they can keep in touch with the top six, and more importantly end their four game losing streak.

They will have to do without keeper Danny Vukovic, who has moved on a five month loan to J-League side Vegalta Sendai. But as one door shuts another one opens, and Australian under-20 keeper Jack Duncan will come into the starting line up to make his A-league debut for the club, while youth keeper Luke Radonich has also been added to the squad.

Vukovic paid tribute to his replacement in between the posts, and believes Duncan will do a great job for the club. “I have full confidence that Jack will come into the side and do a good job for the team. He has worked hard all season and deserves his opportunity,” he said.

Michael Thwaite makes a welcome return from suspension, while Matthew Davies has been added to the squad for the game, as the Glory go in search of their second win across the ditch. Their only win came in 2012, on route to the Grand Final, with Josh Mitchell scoring a stoppage time winner to give them a 1-0 win.

Skipper Jacob Burns returned to the starting line-up last week and he will need to keep a close eye on Spanish midfielder Albert Rivera, who has been in sparkling form for Wellington. Meanwhile Thwaite and William Gallas will have their hands full with the equal A-League leading goal scorer, Belgian striker Stein Huysegems and Kiwi Jeremy Brockie.

In the middle of the park Steven McGarry and Nebojsa Marinkovic could go toe to toe with Carlos Hernandez and Kenny Cunningham, although the Costa Rican duo, are in doubt due to injury.

Shane Smeltz is also in doubt for Sunday-s game after withdrawing from the New Zealand side that lost 4-2 to Japan on Wednesday with a groin injury. The striker will meet up with the rest of the Glory squad in Wellington on Friday, and if he doesn-t pull up, Jamie Maclaren or Darvydas Šernas will come into the starting line-up.

Wellington will also be without the suspended Manny Muscat, and the injured Reece Caira, who fractured his cheekbone last week, while six Wellington players will have to back up after the Japan game in midweek.

The Glory-s last visit to New Zealand saw them come away with a 1-1 draw in round five at AMI Stadium in Christchurch. Durante gave Wellington the lead after only four minutes, before Ryo Nagai levelled on the half hour to level.

It-s a long trip but three points would make the trip home more enjoyable, and give the Glory-s push towards the finals a huge boost.

Perth Glory squad: 2.Jack CLISBY, 3.Brandon O'NEILL, 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 8.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 10.Jamie MACLAREN, 14.Steven McGARRY, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES, 17.Chris HAROLD, 18.Jack DUNCAN (GK), 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Daniel DE SILVA, 23. Michael THWAITE, 24.Matthew DAVIES, 28.Darvydas SERNAS, 36.William GALLAS, 39.Luke RADONICH (GK)

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 23.Michael THWAITE (return after suspension) 24.Matthew DAVIES (promoted) 39.Luke RADONICH (promoted)

Outs: 1.Daniel VUKOVIC (loan)

Unavailable: Travis DODD (knee - indefinite), Scott JAMIESON (Achilles - indefinite)

Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Glen Moss (GK), 5.Michael Boxall, 6.Josh Brindell-South,7, Leo Bertos, 9.Kenny Cunningham, 10.Stein Huysegems, 11.Jeremy Brockie, 12.Tyler Boyd, 15.Jason Hicks, 17.Vince Lia, 18.Ben Sigmund, 19.Hamish Watson, 20.Lewis Italiano (GK), 21.Carlos Hernandez, 22.Andrew Durante (c), 23.Matthew Ridenton, 24.Roy Krishna, 25.Shaun Timmins

**Two to be omitted**

Ins: 7.Leo Bertos (returns from injury), 15.Jason Hicks (promoted), 25.Shaun Timmins (promoted, injury replacement)

Outs: 2.Manny Muscat (suspended), 3.Reece Caira (fractured cheekbone)

Unavailable: 2.Manny Muscat (suspended), 3.Reece Caira (fractured cheekbone - 6-8 weeks), 8.Paul Ifill (ruptured Achilles - season), 13.Albert Riera (groin injury - 6-8 weeks),16.Louis Fenton (shoulder - season)