Hyundai A-League preview: City v Glory
After last start losses saw both sides slip down the ladder, neither can afford a Christmas hangover when they meet at AAMI on Tuesday night.
Tuesday, 27 December 2016
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-Off: 7:50PM (Local) (7:50PM (AEDT))
Referee: Shaun Evans
Assistant Referee 1: Ryan Gallagher
Assistant Referee 2: Owen Goldrick
Fourth Official: Adam Fielding
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 774 ABC Melbourne, 720 ABC Perth, ABC Local Radio Vic/WA, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live, 1116 SEN (Melbourne)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #MCYvPER
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au
Melbourne City FC Squad: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (gk), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 3.Josh ROSE, 4.Connor CHAPMAN, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 8.Neil KILKENNY, 9.Nicolas COLAZO, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Bruce KAMAU, 12.Nick FITZGERALD, 17.Tim CAHILL, 18.Paulo RETRE, 20.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 21. Ruon TONGYIK, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI (c), 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Fernando BRANDAN, 34.Denis GENREAU
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 4.Connor CHAPMAN (promoted), 34.Denis GENREAU (promoted)
Unavailable: 7.Corey GAMEIRO (ACL – season), 22.Michael JAKOBSEN (calf – 1-2 weeks), 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI (ACL – season), 6.Osama MALIK (quad – 2-4 weeks)
Perth Glory Squad: 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Marc WARREN, 4.Shane LOWRY, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 8.Rostyn GRIFFITHS (c), 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 13.Nicholas FEELY (gk), 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Joe MILLS, 17.Diego CASTRO, 19.Josh RISDON, 21.Jamal REINERS, 22.Adam TAGGART, 23.Kosta PETRATOS, 24.Milan SMILJANIC, 33.Liam REDDY (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Alex Grant (promoted), 21.Jamal REINERS (promoted), 23.Kosta PETRATOS (promoted)
Outs: 20.Aryn WILLIAMS (not selected)
Unavailable: 18.Mitch OXBORROW (Foot – 4 weeks)
After doing their best to keep pace with the rampant Sky Blues in the opening third of the season, City have lost ground in recent weeks having taken only two points from their last three matches.
Their recent derby loss saw them drop from second to fourth, although they have played the three sides above them on the ladder across that run
With two games in the space of five days to finish the year, City will be eager to get a first-ever top-two finish back on track.
And City will be expected to win. Glory, however, might have a thing or two to say about that having already walked away from AAMI Park with three points in a fiery encounter back in Round 3.
That 3-2 win ended a poor run of results at the venue for Kenny Lowe's side, where they’d previously not beaten City since January 2012, losing five and drawing twice.
But worryingly for Perth is their current form - Glory are winless in their last four, conceding nine goals and only scoring three.
ROUTE TO GOAL
City’s main marksman Bruno Fornaroli has been relatively quiet in recent weeks, failing to score in their last three matches - almost a drought by his lofty standards.
The Uruguayan will no doubt be eager to make up ground on cross-town rival Besart Berisha in the golden boot race, especially at a venue where he averages close to a goal a game.
In saying that the list of scorers for John van’t Schip’s side runs long, with seven different players finding the back of the net this season.
Interestingly City’s last five goals have all come from different outlets – a sign that they have threats right across the park but perhaps also that they’re becoming less reliant on their skipper.
It’s a similar situation for Perth with Andy Keogh dominating their goal tally, however, despite an abundance of talent his support cast have been poor.
The Irishman netted a hat-trick in this fixture back in October and he currently sits level with Fornaroli on the goal standings with seven for the season.
That said, Glory’s attack has not been helped by injuries to key personnel, namely Adam Taggart and Diego Castro, but both players appear to have overcome recent setbacks.
In fact Kenny Lowe’s big three of Keogh, Castro and Taggart have not started a match together since Round 1, a luxury he might just have as they look to bring back a late Christmas present from Melbourne.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK
Rhys Williams. The Caltex Socceroo has been the subject of transfer speculation ahead of the January window, which culminated in the 28-year-old being left out of Glory’s squad for their last game. However the club have been adamant he remains a contracted player.
FORM GUIDE (last five games)
Melbourne City: DWDDL
Perth Glory: WLDLL
Melbourne City 3-1 Perth Glory