Just over a month after a red-hot Sky Blues outfit trounced Glory 4-1 in Sydney, the two sides meet this time in Perth.
Saturday, 17 December 2016
Perth Glory v Sydney FC
nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-Off: 7:00PM (Local) (10:00PM (AEDT))
Referee: Alan Milliner
Assistant Referee 1: Josh Mannella
Assistant Referee 2: Matthew Southern
Fourth Official: Adam Fielding
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 9.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: ABC Grandstand, EON Sports Radio (eonsportsradio.com)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #PERvSYD
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au
Perth Glory squad: 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Marc WARREN, 4.Shane LOWRY, 5.Rhys WILLIAMS, 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, 19.Josh RISDON, 22.Adam TAGGART, 21.Jamal REINERS, 23.Kosta PETRATOS, 24.Milan SMILJANIC, 33.Liam REDDY (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Marc WARREN (promoted)
Unavailable: 7.Joel CHIANESE (groin – 1 week) 17.Diego CASTRO (hamstring – 3 weeks)
Sydney FC squad: 3.Riley WOODCOCK, 4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Matt JURMAN, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.BOBÔ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Bernie IBINI, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 17.David CARNEY, 19.George BLACKWOOD, 20.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 21.Filip HOLOSKO, 22.Sebastian RYALL, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 24.Charles LOKOLINGOY, 40.Chris OLDFIELD (gk).
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 3.Riley WOODCOCK (promoted), 17.David CARNEY (promoted), 19.George BLACKWOOD (promoted), 24.Charles LOKOLINGOY (promoted)
Outs: 6.Josh BRILLANTE (suspended – 1 week), 18.Matt SIMON (suspended – 1 week)
Unavailable: 1.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk) (personal leave – indefinite)
What's going wrong at Perth Glory right now?
It’s a fair question after their lacklustre showing at home against Newcastle Jets last Saturday night, losing 2-1 after taking an early lead.
The rare home defeat against the Jets means Glory have managed just one win from their last seven matches.
All the traits we expect from a Kenny Lowe-coached side – work-rate, never-say-die spirit and attacking intent – have dissipated.
Of course, the injury to Johnny Warren Medallist Diego Castro – as well as a couple of other players at times – hasn’t helped their cause.
But Lowe expects nothing more than 100% effort from his players. And they’ll need at least that and a bit more as the unbeaten league-leaders come to town.
The Sky Blues maintained their undefeated 2016/17 Season with a hard-earned draw against Melbourne City last Friday.
This despite playing most of the second half with 10 men in a performance Graham Arnold described as their best of the season.
All their players are fit and in form, they remain six points clear at the top and handed Glory a 4-1 drubbing when the two sides met in Sydney last month.
Even without November’s NAB Young Footballer of the Year nominee Josh Brillante through suspension, Arnie has the luxury of recalling re-signed Brandon O’Neill to his midfield.
All signs suggest the Sky Blues juggernaut will roll on for another week.
But if Glory can rediscover the qualities which makes them a handful, this should be an incredibly tight affair.
ROUTE TO GOAL
When assessing Glory’s attacking arsenal it’s no surprise the focus always is with star striker Andy Keogh.
And with seven goals – just one of the top of the golden boot standings – the Irishman has been delivering for Perth this season.
But he can’t do it all on his own. While his supporting cast have had their moments, Lowe will want more output from the likes of Marinkovic, Harold and Taggart.
With Castro missing through injury, Glory’s attack can become very one dimensional and easy for opposition defences to contain.
And against a Sydney FC defence which has conceded only four times in 10 matches, that doesn’t augur well.
While Glory have been relying heavily on Keogh, the Sky Blues have an embarrassment of riches in the front third.
Bobo (four goals), Ninkovic (five), Brosque (four) and Holosko (three) appear to be Arnie’s preferred front four and they’ve all been consistent contributors.
Bernie Ibini and Matt Simon – who misses this clash through suspension - were left on the bench last weekend while the Sky Blues boss also had the luxury of omitting David Carney from the squad altogether.
They are also getting plenty of attacking thrust out wide, especially through lung-busting full-backs Rhyan Grant and Michael Zullo, who get forward at every opportunity.
Ninkovic ran the show when the two sides played last month – with two goals and an assist – although that was against fill-in right-back Dino Djulbic.
The Serbian’s battle with Caltex Socceroo Josh Risdon could be crucial.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK
Brandon O’Neill. The young midfielder, who signed a new two-year deal with the Sky Blues this week, has lost his spot in the starting side in recent weeks but will get a re-call due to Brillante’s suspension. Can he dominate the midfield battle against his former club?
FORM LINES (last five games)
Sydney FC: WDDWD
Perth Glory 1-2 Sydney FC