Regardless of what their immediate challengers do this weekend, Kenny Lowe's Perth Glory have their destiny in their own hands. The equation is simple - beat Brisbane Roar at home and the Western Australian side will remain top of the pile.
Saturday, 28 February 2015
nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-Off: 6:30 PM (Local) (9:30 PM AEDT)
Perth Glory squad: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 3.Brandon O'NEILL, 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 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: 3.Brandon O'NEILL (promoted), 20.Daniel DE SILVA (promoted)
Unavailable: 7.Youssouf HERSI (hamstring – season), 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH (1 week – hamstring), 13.Diogo FEREIRA (hip – 3 weeks)
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 1.Michael THEO (gk), 2.Jerome POLENZ, 3.Shane STEFANUTTO, 4.Adam SAROTA, 5.Corey BROWN, 8.Steven LUSTICA, 9.ANDRIJA Kaluderovic, 10.HENRIQUE, 12.Jean Carlos SOLORZANO, 13.Jade NORTH, 15.James DONACHIE, 17 Matt McKAY (c), 18.Luke BRATTAN, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 22.Thomas BROICH, 23.Dimitri PETRATOS, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 33.Luke DeVERE
***two to be omitted***
Ins: 10.HENRIQUE (return from injury), 23.Dimitri PETRATOS (promoted), 33.Luke DeVERE (promoted)
Outs: 34.Shannon BRADY (not selected)
Kenny Lowe and his Perth Glory team could be forgiven for feeling like a hunted animal this weekend. The Western Australian side's status as frontrunners is under threat from Melbourne Victory.
Glory have been somewhat out of sorts in recent weeks, hardly ideal preparation for fending off the chasing pack. Last weekend they laboured to a 0-0 draw at Melbourne City. While that cagey display can perhaps be attributed to the needs of an away fixture, a considerable improvement will be expected in front of their own fans this weekend.
Lowe's side is unbeaten in two meetings with Brisbane Roar this season. They served early notice of what have proven to be genuine title credentials by beating the reigning champions 3-2 at home in October.
The most recent clash between the two was a 1-1 draw at Suncorp Stadium in November, when the hosts produced a better showing under interim coach Frans Thijssen.
- Perth Glory have won just one of their last six clashes with Brisbane Roar, though this was the most recent home game against the Queenslanders.
- Brisbane have scored in all but one of their last six games against Perth.
- Glory have conceded eight goals in their last three home matches. Prior to that, they had let in six in six home games this season.
- No side has claimed more points on the road this season than Brisbane.
ROUTE TO GOAL
Glory have only bagged two goals in their last three matches, Nebojsa Marinkovic netting away to Adelaide in Round 17 and newcomer Denis Kramar scoring the only goal in a 3-1 loss at home to Sydney FC the previous weekend.
Andy Keogh, arrested along with Josh Risdon after that draw in Adelaide, has been quiet of late. There is plenty of talent and no shortage of options for Lowe, with Richard Garcia, Chris Harold, Jamie Maclaren and recent arrival Dragan Paljic, as well as fit-again playmaker Mitch Nichols, all capable of mounting a threat in the final third. But Perth need to rediscover their goal-scoring touch soon if they are to hold off Victory and Adelaide.
Brisbane had their own woes in front of goal on Wednesday, failing to break down 10-man Beijing Guoan before conceding in injury time to lose 1-0 at home in their AFC Champions League group stage opener.
Prior to that disappointing defeat, Thijssen's men had been in good attacking form, bagging seven goals in three matches, three of those strikes supplied by Jean Carlos Solorzano. Serbian striker Andrija Kaluderovic opened his account with a penalty against the Mariners earlier this month, while Brandon Borello and Henrique are also dangerous.
WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Roar midfielder Adam Sarota is likely to be nursing a colourfully bruised chest for the trip to WA after being on the wrong end of a stamp from Beijing Guoan's Erton Fejzullahu, who deservedly saw red for the ugly foul on the Gold Coast.
Perth Glory: DDLDL
In two successive away matches Glory drew 0-0 with Melbourne City and 1-1 with Adelaide United. Prior to that a 3-3 draw with Melbourne Victory was sandwiched between a 3-1 loss to Sydney and 2-1 defeat at the hands of Adelaide, all three of those games coming at home.
Brisbane Roar: LWWWL
The Roar went down 1-0 to Beijing Guoan on Wednesday night. Before that they had won three consecutive A-League matches, beating Central Coast 2-0 at home, the Newcastle Jets 2-1 away and Wellington Phoenix 3-2 at home.
DID YOU KNOW?
- No player has assisted more goals than Nebojsa Marinkovic this season (six).
Perth Glory 2-0 Brisbane Roar
This is the match when we expect the Glory to awaken from their recent slumbers and reassert themselves as a force to be reckoned with. Brisbane laboured without reward in the demoralising loss to Beijing Guoan, which, coupled with the necessity of flying across the country to Western Australia, will have left them at a physical disadvantage compared to their well-rested hosts.1 comment