Perth Glory will hope home comforts will help secure their spot in the six, but Brisbane hit town in top form, with the Hyundai A-League’s sharpest shooter in tow.
Saturday, 8 April 2017
Perth Glory v Brisbane Roar FC
nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-Off: 8:00PM (Local) (10:00PM (AEST))
Referee: Chris Beath
Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream
Assistant Referee 2: Paul Cetrangolo
Fourth Official: Adam Fielding
Video Assistant Referee: Craig Zetter
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 9.55pm (AEST)
Radio Broadcast: ABC Radio Brisbane, ABC Radio Qld, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #PERvBRI
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: 5.Rhys WILLIAMS (returns from suspension), 8.Rostyn GRIFFITHS (returns from injury)
Unavailable: 2.Alex GRANT (foot – season), 4.Shane LOWRY (quad – season), 10.Nebo MARINKOVIC (groin – 1 week)
Brisbane Roar FC squad: 3.Luke DEVERE, 5.Corey BROWN, 7.Thomas KRISTENSEN, 8.Jacob PEPPER, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.Brett HOLMAN, 13.Jade NORTH (c), 15. ARANA, 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 19.Jack HINGERT, 20.Shannon BRADY, 21.Jamie YOUNG (gk), 25.Kye ROWLES, 26.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 28.Brandon BORRELLO, 29.Joe CALETTI, 43.Tomislav BILIC (gk), 46.Cameron CRESTANI **two to be omitted**
Ins: 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS (promoted), 20.Shannon BRADY (promoted), 25.Kye ROWLES (promoted), 46.Cameron CRESTANI (promoted)
Outs: 6.Avram PAPADOPOULOS (not selected), 22.Thomas BROICH (not selected)
Unavailable: 4.Daniel BOWLES (knee – season), 11.Tommy OAR (hamstring – 1 week), 17.Matt MCKAY (knee – 4 weeks), 24.Connor O’TOOLE (ankle – 2 weeks)
Five weeks ago, Perth were third in the Hyundai A-League and even harboured ambitions of a top-two finish.
But after a win-less March, they’ve slipped to sixth and are yet to confirm their place in the Finals Series.
Instead, it’s Brisbane who are now third off the back of two wins in their last three games and a rich vein of goal-scoring form from fringe Caltex Socceroo Jamie Maclaren.
Brisbane can still finish second if they win their remaining two games and Victory lose theirs by reasonable margins.
Even if they don’t, Roar should enter the Finals Series with massive momentum.
By contrast, Kenny Lowe can’t even start planning for the finals just yet.
In fact, if Glory lose to Brisbane and fast-finishing Wellington get at least a point against Sydney FC earlier in the evening, the top six might not be known until the very last kick of the regular season the following Sunday night.
However, a win here would secure finals football for Glory with a week to spare.
- There have been 16 goals scored in the last three games between these teams, with Perth edging Brisbane 9-7 across those fixtures.
- Brisbane have won three of their last five games against the Glory (D1, L1) and have scored multiple goals in all but two of their last nine games against them.
- Perth Glory will be looking to avoid consecutive goalless games at home for the first time since Round 18, 2012/13; a sequence which included a 1-0 loss to Brisbane.
- Brisbane Roar have kept their opposition scoreless in the opening half of seven of their last 12 away games.
- 16.2% of Perth Glory’s passes have been into the final third this season, the highest percentage of any team in the competition.
- Each of Brisbane Roar’s last 11 goals have come in the second half, and they’ve won three of their last four games despite having not scored a first-half goal in that span.
- Chris Harold has conceded just 14 fouls so far this season, the fewest of any player who has won at least 50 fouls for the campaign thus far.
ROUTE TO GOAL
Jamie Maclaren is the Hyundai A-League’s hottest marksman, bar none.
His eight-minute hat-trick last weekend against Central Coast took him to 18 goals for the season, and equal top of the Golden Boot ladder alongside Victory’s Besart Berisha.
Maclaren has scored seven goals in his last four games and those strikes have played a huge part in Roar’s late-season surge into the top three.
Brisbane’s only issue seems to be that no-one else is lending much of a hand with Dane Thomas Kristensen the next best with four goals.
However, teenager Nick D’Agostino has shown his promise recently, scoring twice in his last four appearances off the bench, including a sublime strike into the top corner at Suncorp on Sunday.
The goals have dried up for Perth, with just two in the last three games, but any side with Diego Castro in it will always be a dangerous prospect.
Perth’s super Spaniard plays his 50th A-League game on Saturday and will be desperate to mark the occasion with a performance to reignite his side’s faltering campaign.
With a support cast that includes Adam Taggart and Andy Keogh (who have combined for 21 goals this season) and the return of Rostyn Griffiths from injury and Rhys Williams from the Socceroos and suspension, there is more than enough firepower in Glory’s ranks to achieve just that.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK
Brisbane were 1-0 down after an hour last weekend, before Jamie Maclaren went bang-bang-bang. It was a sublime hat-trick from Roar’s man of the moment.
FORM LINES (last five games)
Perth Glory: WDLLD
Brisbane Roar: LWLWW
Perth Glory 1 Brisbane Roar 2