Matchday preview: Perth Glory v Melbourne City

Topics

John van ‘t Schip’s men are finals bound and in good form with the finals series fast approaching. Can they take advantage of Perth Glory’s off-field woes to register a rare victory in WA?

MATCH DETAILS

Sunday, 19 April 2015

nib Stadium, Perth

Kick-Off:  3:00 PM (Local) (5:00 PM AEST)

SQUADS

Perth Glory FC squad:  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

***two to be omitted***

Ins: 4.Riley WOODCOCK (promoted), 13.Diogo FEREIRRA (promoted)

Outs: 16.Sidnei SCIOLA (not selected)

Unavailable: 7.Youssouf HERSI, 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH (2 weeks)

Melbourne City FC squad:  1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 4.Connor CHAPMAN, 5.Erik PAARTALU, 6.Aaron MOOY, 7.Iain RAMSAY, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA, 9.Harry NOVILLO, 10.Robert KOREN, 13.Jonatan GERMANO, 15.David WILLIAMS, 18.Paulo RETRE, 20.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 22.Jack CLISBY, 24.Patrick KISNORBO (c), 26.Marc MARINO, 28.Nick SYMEOY 

***one to be omitted***

Ins: 7.Iain RAMSAY (promoted), 22.Jack CLISBY (promoted), 26.Marc MARINO (promoted), 28.Nick SYMEOY (promoted)

Outs: 25.Jacob MELLING (suspended, card accumulation – 1 match), 27.Kew JALIENS (suspended, card accumulation – 1 match), 29.Safuwan BAHARUDIN (tbc)

Unavailable: 3.Robbie WIELAERT (ankle – 2 weeks), 11.Damien DUFF (ankle/calf – indefinite), 14.James BROWN (foot – 5-6 weeks), 19.Ben GARUCCIO (ankle – 6-7 weeks)
 
TV Broadcast:  Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5.00pm (AEST) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast:  Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app

Hashtag: #PERvMCY

Referee:  Chris Beath

Assistant Referee 1:  Mathew Cheeseman

Assistant Referee 2:  Josh Mannella

Fourth Official:  David Bruce

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

The phrase ‘playing for pride’ gets thrown around a lot at the end of the season, but it’s especially true of Perth Glory in the final two rounds of the 2014-15 A-League.

Kenny Lowe’s men have gone from being one of the Premier’s Plate favourites to suffering finals series disqualification for breaching the salary cap.

Their hard work on the field will now count for nothing and they have 180 minutes of torture to get through during the last two matches.

The shock of their exclusion from the play-offs was plain for all to see in a comprehensive 3-0 loss at home to Sydney FC last Friday night, just hours after the findings of FFA’s audit and the subsequent punishment was made public.

The complex situation off the field presents some psychological challenges for Melbourne City, who are attempting to secure a fifth-place finish ahead of reigning champions Brisbane Roar.

John van ‘t Schip’s side are enjoying some of their best form this season and won’t want to lose momentum by dropping points on the road this week.

But what kind of opponents will they come up against on Sunday evening? A defiant XI determined to mount a positive response to events of the last two weeks? Or a wounded animal limping to the finish line with nothing left to play for?

OPTA DATA

- Glory have failed to win any of their last three against Melbourne City (D2 L1).

- City have lost their previous four visits to Perth to nil (including play-offs).

- Only Wellington’s Nathan Burns (7) has scored more home goals this season than Perth Glory’s Andy Keogh (6).

- Both of the previous meetings this season between these two sides have ended as a draw.

- Perth have shipped at least two goals in each of their last seven home games.

- City have kept clean sheets in four of their last five matches.

ROUTE TO GOAL

Josh Kennedy, Damien Duff and James Brown are sidelined for City but they’ve still got plenty of attacking firepower to call on. Just about every member of their midfield and forward line had a crack at breaking down Wellington Phoenix in a 0-0 draw at AAMI Park last Sunday evening, but they either left their shooting boots back at the training ground or found Glen Moss in assured form between the sticks.

Robert Koren, Harry Novillo and David Williams are all available, while Iain Ramsay and youngster Marc Marino have also been included in the match-day squad.

Surely that’s enough to get past the demoralised Glory backline?

There will be two changes in defence for City due to Kew Jaliens’ suspension for an accumulation of yellow cards. Safuwan Baharudin has also been omitted.

Perth have released Cerezo Osaka’s Mitch Nichols early from his season-long loan, but Keogh, Jamie Maclaren, Richard Garcia, Chris Harold and Dragan Paljic are a group of forwards not to be underestimated. 

Concentration may understandably have been an issue at nib Stadium last weekend. If their focus is better on Sunday, the hosts are more than capable of worrying City.

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

City goalkeeper Tando Velaphi has impressed since taking over from Andrew Redmayne earlier this season. Now the 27-year-old will be taking on the team he made 74 appearances for between 2007 and 2011.

FORM LINES

Perth Glory: LWWDL

Before rolling over at home to the Sky Blues last time out, the Glory had won two in succession, beating the Newcastle Jets 2-0 away and Western Sydney 3-2 at home. 

Melbourne City: DDWWW

It’s been two successive draws for City, 0-0 at home to Wellington and 1-1 away to the Western Sydney Wanderers. Prior to that they’d won three in a row, beating Sydney and Brisbane 1-0 at home and away respectively, as well as thrashing the Jets 4-0 at home.

DID YOU KNOW?

No midfielder has hit the woodwork more often than Glory’s Nebojsa Marinkovic (4). City’s Aaron Mooy has also done it four times.

PREDICTION 

Perth Glory 1-1 Melbourne City

A consolation victory won’t be anywhere near enough to compensate for their anger and disappointment, but we’re tipping Lowe’s side to produce a far more competitive and combative display than their previous effort. City will need to be at their best to cope with that onslaught if it transpires.