A-League preview: Western Sydney Wanderers v Perth Glory
Saturday, 25 April 2015
Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta
Kick-Off: 5pm (Local), (5pm AEST)
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1.Ante COVIC (gk), 3.Yusuke TANAKA, 4. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 6.Antony GOLEC, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Tomi JURIC, 10.Yojiro TAKAHAGI, 12.Nikita RUKAVYTSYA, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 14.Kerem BULUT, 18.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 23.Jason TRIFIRO, 25.Sam GALLAWAY, 33.Nick KALMAR, 37.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 38.Steve KUZMANOVSKI
Unavailable 5.Brendan HAMILL (thigh), 7. Labinot HALITI (hamstring), 11.Brendon SANTALAB (shoulder), 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO (hamstring), 22.Nick WARD (knee – indefinite), 34.Golgol MEBRAHTU (knee – indefinite)
Perth Glory 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 4.Riley WOODCOCK, 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 13.Diogo FEREIRRA, 14.Chris Harold, 15.Jamie MACLAREN, 18.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Daniel DE SILVA, 21.Scott JAMIESON, 23.Michael THWAITE (c), 25.Mitch OXBORROW, 27.Dragan PALJIC, 28.Denis KRAMAR
Unavailable 7.Youssouf HERSI (hamstring season), 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH (2 weeks)
TV – Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEST) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio - Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app.
Referee Matthew Conger
The Wanderers saw their ACL title defence take a major hit on Tuesday night after losing at home to Kashima Antlers.
Just how much that disappointment will affect them on Saturday is anyone’s guess.
With Newcastle Jets playing on Friday night, Tony Popovic’s side will know exactly what they have to do against Glory to avoid that scenario.
Perth have had their own issues in recent weeks.
They have little but pride to play for but as Kenny Lowe’s troops showed against Melbourne City last weekend – which they won 3—1 - they don’t intend bowing out with a whimper.
Romeo Castelen picked up an injury against Kashima midweek and won’t feature against Glory but skipper Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Nick Kalmar and Iacopo La Rocca all return.
Youngster Steve Kuzmanovski is one option to start on the right flank, with Popovic set to ring the changes for the club’s final game of a rollercoaster domestic campaign.
Big guns Rostyn Griffiths, Nebojsa Marinkovic and Scott Jamieson all return for Glory.
OPTA DATA STATS
-The Wanderers have never failed to score against Perth Glory in the Hyundai A-League (W5 D1 L2).
-Perth has won both of their meetings with the Wanderers this Hyundai A-League season, though have lost all three of their previous visits to Sydney against them.
-Western Sydney won their last home match against Adelaide. They’ve not won back-to-back Hyundai A-League games at home since January 2014.
-Perth Glory are unbeaten in 10 Hyundai A-League away games (W4 D6). There has not been more than three goals scored in any of those matches.
ROUTE TO GOAL
Even with playmaker Nebojsa Marinkovic sidelined through illness last weekend, Glory still showed they have plenty of attacking firepower.
Striker Jamie Maclaren showed his finishing ability with three well-taken goals against City, stealing the limelight from leading scorer Andy Keogh.
What a great situation for coach Kenny Lowe to be in. If the likes of Keogh, Dragan Paljic, Marinkovic and Danny De Silva won’t get you, then Maclaren will.
The Wanderers relied on Mark Bridge and Tomi Juric to get them out of jail against Adelaide United last week and the pair will be pivotal again.
After coming off the bench in the ACL midweek, Juric is set to be unleashed from the start.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Jamie Maclaren. The Olyroos striker has earned a reputation as a ‘super-sub’ this season but delivered from the start against City last weekend, banging in a hat-trick in the 3-1 win.
FORM LINES (last five games)
The Wanderers jumped off the bottom of Hyundai A-League ladder after a thrilling come-from-behind 2-1 win over Adelaide United last Saturday. It shows there’s still plenty of fight in Popovic’s outfit.
Glory put a tough week behind them with a thumping 3-1 win over finals-bound City. It was their third win from their last four games. Perth has won both previous clashes between these two this season, although those matches were at nib Stadium.
DID YOU KNOW?
Wanderers are the only Hyundai A-League side yet to score a headed goal this season, while Perth have scored a league-high 11 headed goals.
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 2-2 Perth Glory
With little consequence on the result, we’re tipping an open, entertaining contest with a few goals but a sharing of the spoils.