Kenny Lowe's Perth Glory are used to having things their own way in 2014-15, except where Adelaide United are concerned. Will the Western Australian side, setting the benchmark in the A-League this season, exact revenge for their FFA Cup final loss at the hands of the Reds?
Monday, 5 January 2015
nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-Off: 5:30 PM (Local) (8:30 PM AEDT)
Referee: Strebre Delovski
Perth Glory Squad: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 2.Jack CLISBY, 3.Brandon O’NEILL, 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, 18.Jack DUNCAN (gk), 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Daniel DE SILVA, 21.Scott JAMIESON, 22.Cameron EDWARDS, 23.Michael THWAITE (c)
***two to be omitted***
Ins: 3.Brandon O’NEILL (promoted), 20.Daniel DE SILVA (promoted)
Unavailable: 7.Youssouf HERSI (hamstring - season) 17.Mitch NICHOLS ( Hamstring - 4-6 weeks), 13.Diogo FEREIRA (groin - 1-2 weeks)
Adelaide United squad: 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Nigel BOOGAARD (c), 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Osama MALIK, 7.PABLO SÁNCHEZ, 8.ISAÍAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE, 14.Cameron WATSON, 16.Craig GOODWIN, 17.Awer MABIL, 18.Jimmy JEGGO, 20.Paul IZZO (GK), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Fabio FERREIRA, 24.Bruce KAMAU, 30.John HALL (GK)
***two to be omitted***
Ins: 3.Nigel BOOGAARD (returns from suspension), 5.Osama MALIK (returns from injury), 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA (returns from injury), 21.Tarek ELRICH (returns from suspension), 22.Fabio FERREIRA (returns from injury)
Outs: 15.Ben WARLAND (omitted), 26.Anthony COSTA (omitted), 32.Nathan KONSTANDOPOPOULOS (omitted)
Unavailable: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (international duty), 23.Jordan ELSEY (knee – indefinite)
TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 8.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 720 ABC Perth, ABC Local Radio Western Australia, 891 ABC Adelaide, ABC Local Radio SA, Grandstand Digital, Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app
Perth passed a major test of their A-League title credentials by beating Melbourne Victory away from home on Friday. Now they have to deal with the visit of Adelaide United, the only team to beat them in the league this season and also their conquerors in the FFA Cup final.
The Reds aren't quite as rock solid as they were in those two victories though, having lost 3-1 at home to Wellington Phoenix last time out.
Adelaide coach Josep Gombau is without goalkeeper and captain Eugene Galekovic due to international duty, but important utility player Osama Malik and playmaker Marcelo Carrusca are back in the squad for this one. It remains to be seen if they are fit to start or will play any part.
Defenders Nigel Boogaard and Tarek Elrich, suspended for the Phoenix loss, will be welcome additions for the visitors at nib Stadium on Monday night.
OPTA DATA KEY STATS
- Perth have won each of their last eight home games, scoring at least two goals every time.
- Adelaide have not won any of their last six visits to Perth (L3), though they have drawn each of the last three.
ROUTE TO GOAL
The Glory are benefitting from a bit of old-fashioned 'route one' football, albeit with a touch of skill and class. Both of their goals in the 2-1 win over Victory in Geelong came from fast, accurate balls forward, with Andy Keogh and Chris Harold putting the chances away. They received a bit of help in the form of poor defending from Adrian Leijer and Nathan Coe. Will Adelaide be as generous?
The Reds meanwhile never look quite as dangerous without Carrusca pulling the strings, that was the case against Wellington and it could be again in Perth. The Argentine is back in the matchday squad following a minor groin problem, but will Gombau risk him so soon after that injury scare? If he does miss out again, that will leave centre-forward Bruce Djite and wide attackers Sergio Cirio, Awer Mabil and Pablo Sanchez to try and unlock the Glory backline.
WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Serbian midfielder Nebojsa Marinkovic returned to the Perth starting XI against Victory after missing the draw with Melbourne City on Boxing Day due to a stomach bug. He certainly made an impact in Geelong, setting up both of the visitors' goals. With Youssouf Hersi out for the season and Mitch Nichols not due to return to fitness until after the Asian Cup, Marinkovic is crucial to Glory's attacking fluidity.
Kenny Lowe's table-toppers have won three of the last four in the league, only dropping points in that 1-1 draw with City on December 26. Adelaide are in their worst run of form so far this season, having lost four of their last seven.
DID YOU KNOW?
Adelaide have found the net in each of their six away games so far this season.
Result: Perth Glory 2-1 Adelaide United
This is a big test for Glory, who seemingly had no answer to Adelaide's confident, possession-based football at Coopers Stadium in round three and in the Cup final. Although Boogaard and Elrich are key inclusions, with Galekovic out, could the Reds be vulnerable, particularly given they are on the road?
Glory are tough to break down and make the most of the chances that come their way. Get the job done in this one and they will go 10 points clear at the top, at least until Victory play Western Sydney away on Tuesday night. Entering the break for the Asian Cup with such a big buffer would be quite a feeling for a team that spent last season struggling at the wrong end of the table.comments