Four teams have made the trip out west in the Hyundai A-League and Westfield FFA Cup so far this season and they've all come away empty handed. Can Phoenix halt Glory's mission to turn nib Stadium into a fortress?
Date: Friday, 21 November 2014
Where: nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-Off: 6:45 PM (Local) (9:45 PM AEDT)
Perth Glory squad: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (GK), 3.Brandon O'NEILL, 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Youssouf HERSI, 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebosja MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 12.Jamie MACLAREN, 13.Diogo Alves FERREIRA, 14.Chris HAROLD, 17.Mitch NICHOLS, 19.Joshua RISDON, 20.Daniel DE SILVA, 21.Scott JAMIESON, 23.Michael THWAITE (c) 30.Jordan THURTELL (GK)
***two to be omitted***
Ins: 17.Mitch NICHOLS (returns from international duty), 15.Jamie MACLAREN (returns from international duty)
Unavailable: 16.Sidnei SCIOLA (calf – 1 week)
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Glen MOSS (GK), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 4.Roly BONEVACIA, 5.Michael BOXALL, 6.Josh BRINDELL-SOUTH, 7.Kenny CUNNINGHAM, 8.Alex RODRIGUEZ, 9.Nathan BURNS, 10.Michael McGLINCHEY, 11.Jeremy BROCKIE, 12.Tyler BOYD, 13.Albert RIERA, 17.Vince LIA, 18.Ben SIGMUND, 19.Tom DOYLE, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (GK), 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c)
***two to be omitted***
Ins: 5.Michael BOXALL (returns from international duty), 10.Michael McGLINCHEY (returns from international duty), 11.Jeremy BROCKIE (returns from international duty), 12.Tyler BOYD (returns from international duty), 19.Tom DOYLE (returns from injury)
Outs: 14.Alex RUFER (omitted), 23.Matthew RIDENTON (omitted), 31.Andrew BLAKE (omitted)
Unavailable: 16.Louis FENTON (dislocated collar bone – 6-8 weeks)
TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 (FOX SPORTS 4HD & 4) from 4.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: ABC Grandstand Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app. 720 ABC Perth and Local Radio WA to join at 7:30pm AWST
Referee: Lucien Laverdure
Wellington Phoenix are a far tougher prospect than in recent seasons but even so, they're up against it this weekend, when they go away to league leaders Perth Glory.
Ernie Merrick will get several players back from New Zealand international duty, but a tough travel schedule for the All Whites - coupled with a second successive away from game for Phoenix - means the odds are stacked against the visitors in Western Australia.
As if they needed any more help, the Glory have also enjoyed a full week off between consecutive home matches and didn't lose as many personnel to international duty.
OPTA DATA STATS
- Glory's Nebojsa Marinkovic has created a league-high 18 chances for his side this season.
- Wellington's Michael McGlinchey has created more chances (15) for his team-mates without providing an assist this term than any other player.
- Phoenix have won only one of their last seven on the road in the Hyundai A-League, losing five and conceding 21 goals in that run, an average of three per game.
ROUTE TO GOAL
Glory have been doing a bit of tasty scoring from free-kicks in recent weeks, notching goals directly from set-pieces away to Central Coast in Round 5, against Bentleigh Greens in the Westfield FFA Cup semi-final and at home to Western Sydney last time out, Nebojsa Marinkovic claiming the first two of those and Scott Jamieson the third.
When it's a goal from open play, influential midfielder Marinkovic is also likely to be involved, with plenty of assistance from Youssouf Hersi, Richard Garcia and Daniel De Silva. Andy Keogh and Jamie Maclaren have been the men putting the ball in the back of the net for Kenny Lowe's side so far in 2014-15.
Roly Bonevacia, a stand-out performer for Phoenix early this season, bagged his first Hyundai A-League goal away to Adelaide last time out. Jeremy Brockie, Michael McGlinchey and Nathan Burns have all looked dangerous for Wellington, although they will be hard-pressed to breach a solid Glory rearguard on Friday night.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Wellington's reliable utility player Manny Muscat is set to make his 150th appearance for the club this weekend, not bad for a player originally signed on a short-term, injury replacement deal.
Glory have won their last five in all competitions, including a first away victory at Central Coast and their first ever win over Western Sydney Wanderers. FFA Cup triumphs at home to Melbourne Victory and away to Bentleigh Greens has Lowe's side in the inaugural final and flying high.
Wellington have won three and lost two of their last five, beating the Wanderers 1-0 at home in Round 5 but conceding a late, late goal to go down 2-1 at Adelaide United last weekend.
DID YOU KNOW?
Perth have started the season with five wins from their first six A-League games of the season – it took them 14 games to achieve five wins in 2013-14.
Perth Glory 2-1 Wellington Phoenix
Merrick has created a Phoenix side that are tough to beat and will strive to mount a threat up front, but we think the collective recent exertions of their players - both at club and national level - will leave them unable to match a fit and firing Glory at nib Stadium.comments