Glory has an outside chance of a top-four finish – and thereby host an Elimination Final – but will need to smash City, who are desperate themselves to remain in the top four for that same reason. A rollicking end to the regular season awaits on Sunday.
Sunday, 16 April 2017
Perth Glory v Melbourne City FC
nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-Off: 5:00PM (Local) (7:00PM (AEST))
Referee: Peter Green
Assistant Referee 1: David Walsh
Assistant Referee 2: Josh Mannella
Fourth Official: Adam Fielding
Video Assistant Referee: Jarred Gillett
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.00pm (AEST) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: ABC Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live, 1116 SEN (Melbourne)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #PERvMCY
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au
Perth Glory squad: 3.Marc WARREN, 5.Rhys WILLIAMS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.Rostyn GRIFFITHS (c), 9.Andy KEOGH, 11.Richard GARCIA, 13.Nick FEELY (gk), 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Joe MILLS, 17.Diego CASTRO, 18.Mitch OXBORROW, 19.Josh RISDON, 22.Adam TAGGART, 26.Lucian GOIAN, 28.Joe KNOWLES, 33.Liam REDDY (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 3.Marc WARREN (promoted), 28.Joe KNOWLES (promoted)
Unavailable: 2.Alex GRANT (foot – season), 4.Shane LOWRY (quad – season), 10.Nebo MARINKOVIC (groin – 1 week)
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (gk), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 3.Josh ROSE, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Osama MALIK, 8.Neil KILKENNY, 9.Nicolas COLAZO, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Bruce KAMAU, 12.Nick FITZGERALD, 14.Daniel ARZANI, 17.Tim CAHILL, 18.Paulo RETRE, 20.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI, 26.Luke BRATTAN
Ins: 14.Daniel ARZANI (promoted), 21.Ruon TONGYIK (returns from illness)
Unavailable: 7.Corey GAMEIRO (ACL – season), 27.Fernando BRANDAN (ACL – season), 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI (ACL – season)
What a compelling finale to the Hyundai A-League 2016/17 Season.
Both clubs head into the final round with the chance to finish in the top four, although City clearly holds the upper hand and are rightly favoured to retain their top four status.
Michael Valkanis’ troops are three points clear of Glory and enjoy a seven-goal advantage in goal difference.
It means the home side will need to win by four goals to leapfrog City and ensure a home Elimination Final the following weekend.
It would appear highly unlikely but as we’ve seen when these clubs have met already this season (remember Fornaroli’s two missed penalties in Round 12?), absolutely anything is possible.
With fourth-placed Brisbane Roar playing just a couple of hours before this one, both sides will know exactly what they need to do by the time they start in the west.
Encouragingly for both teams, they come into this one in winning form.
Glory put a disappointing month behind them with a clinical 3-1 victory over the Roar, while City saw off a stubborn Adelaide United 1-0.
It’s all about momentum heading into the finals and – regardless of where they ultimately end up on the ladder – both coaches will crave three points and a strong performance.
- There have been 32 goals scored in the last seven games between the Glory and Melbourne City; only once in that span has either team kept a clean sheet.
- Perth Glory are undefeated in their last seven games hosting Melbourne City (W6, D1), keeping four clean sheets in the process.
ROUTE TO GOAL
It’s no secret where Glory’s main threats lie. The front three of Castro, Keogh and Taggart each have 11 goals to their name, contributing 33 of Perth’s 48 goals in the 2016/17 Season.
Where City may look to focus in midfield, cutting off the supply to the trio by dominating skipper Rostyn Griffths, Mitch Oxborrow, Richard Garcia and Brandon Wilson – depending on who Lowe opts to deploy in the middle of the park.
City will try to starve Glory of the ball and control the flow of the match. But it’s how they deal with Glory’s quick and direct play on the counter attack which could prove decisive.
The visitors have their own threats as well, most notably Caltex Socceroo striker Tim Cahill.
The 37-year-old talisman lives for the big occasion. Service from wide areas will be pivotal for City with their talisman's incredible threat in the air.
If the likes of Bruce Kamau and Nicolas Colazo can dominate the battle with their fullbacks Josh Risdon and Joseph Mills, then it will go a long way to a City win.
The two previous clashes between these two this season has seen 11 goals scored in a 3-3 draw and 3-2 win to Glory.
If we get a similar type of match in this one, we’re in for a ripping 90 minutes of entertainment at nib.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Melbourne City. The club has the chance to cement third spot to put themselves in prime position for a spot in next year’s AFC Champions League preliminary round. Nothing but a win will do in Perth so the finals have come a week early for Michael Valkanis’ men.
FORM LINES (last five games)
Perth Glory 2-2 Melbourne City