Hyundai A-League preview: Sydney FC v Perth Glory

​Red-hot Perth Glory are playing for a home final and should be confident of maintaining their fabulous winning streak against a Sydney FC outfit that cannot make the Finals Series.

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Sunday, 10 April 2016

Sydney FC v Perth Glory

Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Kick-Off: 5:00 PM (Local) (5:00 PM AEST)

Referee: Ben Williams

Assistant Referee 1: Owen Goldrick

Assistant Referee 2: Leigh Pigram

Fourth Official: Matthew Cropper

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 5:00pm (AEST) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: 720 ABC Perth, ABC Local Radio WA, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #SYDvPER

To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets 

Sydney FC squad: 1.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 2.Seb RYALL, 5.Matt JURMAN, 6. Robert STAMBOLZIEV, 7.Andrew HOOLE, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 17.David CARNEY, 18.Matt SIMON, 19.Jacques FATY, 20.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 21.Filip HOLOSKO, 22.Ali ABBAS, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 24.George BLACKWOOD, 27.Mickael TAVARES

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 2.Seb RYALL (return from injury – glute), 5.Matt JURMAN (return from injury – groin), 17.David CARNEY (return from illness), 18.Matt SIMON (promoted), 23.Rhyan GRANT (return from injury – quad), 24.George BLACKWOOD (promoted), 27.Mickael TAVARES (promoted)

Matt Simon celebrates after making 1-1 at Coopers Stadium.

Outs: 4.Zac ANDERSON, 11.Christopher NAUMOFF, 16.Riley WOODCOCK, 25.Aaron CALVER, 29.Alex MULLEN (not selected)

Unavailable: 14.Alex BROSQUE (hamstring – indefinite)

Perth Glory squad: 1.Ante COVIC (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Marc WARREN, 4.Shane LOWRY, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Gyorgy SANDOR, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 12.Jerrad TYSON (gk), 14.Chris HAROLD, 17.Diego CASTRO, 18.Mitch OXBORROW, 19.Josh RISDON, 21.Kosta PETRATOS, 23.Krisztian VADOCZ, 24.Jamal REINERS, 29.Aryn WILLIAMS

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 6.Dino DJULBIC (returns from suspension), 21.Kosta PETRATOS (promoted)

Glory defender Dino Djulbic takes a shot against the Wanderers.

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH (knee – indefinite)

#SYDvPER

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

Records could be broken at Allianz Stadium in the final match of the regular season in a match-up between two sides enjoying vastly different fortunes.

On one hand there’s the Sky Blues who haven’t won in their last 11 matches following last weekend’s limp 2-0 loss to Adelaide United.

Fail to win this one and they will set a new club record of 12 games without victory in the Hyundai A-League.

Sydney FC defender Alex Mullen reacts to an Adelaide goal at Allianz Stadium.

Then there’s Perth Glory, who are the hottest team in the competition right now and timing their run perfectly (see form lines below). 

Kenny Lowe’s Glory boys made it five wins in a row (for the second time this season) by toppling Melbourne City 3-2 on Sunday and will hope to make it six on the trot for the first time in the club’s history.

And it’s hard to make an argument for anything but a Glory - even with Sydney on a high after win in the ACL midweek.

Domestically, the Sky Blues’ home form has been woeful and the fans have let their feelings be known, roundly booing the side off the pitch in the last couple of matches. 

Glory simply has more to play for – with a home final a possibility – and their key players are in much better form.

Andy Keogh celebrates after scoring in Perth Glory's 3-2 win over Melbourne City.

In team news, Graham Arnold has recalled seven players from the side that was humbled by the Reds, in a clear intention the Sky Blues want to finish the season with a bang. For Perth, Dino Djulbic and Kosta Petratos have been added to an extended squad.

OPTA DATA

*Each of the last six times Sydney FC has hosted Perth in the Hyundai A-League, the game has ended 2-1; Perth have won the last two while Sydney FC won the four prior.

*Having now won five straight matches for the second time in their last 11 Hyundai A-League fixtures Perth Glory will be looking to set a new club record by winning six consecutive games.

*Sydney FC has taken just one competition point from their last five Hyundai A-League matches, being outscored 13-5 in that period.

ROUTE TO GOAL

Goals have been Sydney FC’s issue for most of the season, with only two clubs (Mariners and Jets) scoring less than the Sky Blues’ 32 for the campaign.

And their pop-gun attack was again on display against the Reds last weekend, with just one shot on target for the match, coming in stoppage-time right at the death.

Sydney FC striker George Blackwood celebrates scoring his maiden A-League goal.

The main problem has been Sydney’s passing is often too slow and disjointed, a lot of the time preferring to go backwards or sideways than look to be positive.

It’s a trait that not only must frustrate coach Graham Arnold but is also infuriating the fans.

Glory has no such issues. Their attack is as dynamic as any side in the competition right now.

They have the desire and finishing of Keogh, the speed of Harold and the class and creativity of Castro and Marinkovic. Lowe’s troops are a joy to watch.

Diego Castro

It’s hard to see Sydney’s defence being able to half the purple juggernaut, especially with Keogh and Castro in such a ruthless mood.

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Andy Keogh. Set Australian national league history by scoring in an eighth consecutive game last weekend and against a confidence-sapped Sky Blues defence, you wouldn’t put it past him making it nine in a row.

FORM LINES

Sydney: LLDLL

Glory: WWWWW

PREDICTION 

Sydney FC 1-3 Perth Glory