Match preview: Melbourne City v Perth Glory
Jamie Maclaren looms as the key man if Melbourne City are to cause a shock against league-leaders Perth Glory at AAMI Park on Sunday afternoon.
The Caltex Socceroos striker has made an impressive start to life at City, becoming the first player in the club’s history to score in his first three appearances.
And Warren Joyce’s troops will be hoping that run continues considering City has yet to find the net against Perth in their two previous clashes this season.
Another blank in this encounter on Sunday won’t just leave City’s top six hopes in jeopardy, it will also increase the pressure on the underfire Joyce.
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Things couldn’t be any different for his counterpart Tony Popovic, despite last weekend’s surprise 1-1 draw with Western Sydney Wanderers.
Popovic has Glory eight-points clear at the top of the table and on course for the club’s first piece of Hyundai A-League silverware.
The side from the west has lost just the one match this season, while their current 11-game unbeaten run is a new club record.
They are also the only team in the competition this season who has yet to lose on their travels, picking up six wins and three draws away from HBF Park
And it's been almost three years since they have lost to City at AAMI Park, winning three of the last five (two draws) head-to-head clashes between the clubs at the venue.
Key Opta stats
- Perth Glory have lost only one of their last nine Hyundai A-League games against Melbourne City (W6, D2), having kept a clean sheet in each of their last two meetings.
- Melbourne City are undefeated in their last eight Hyundai A-League games at AAMI Park, keeping a total of four clean sheets in that span and conceding multiple goals in a game just once.
- Glory are the only team in the Hyundai A-League this season who are yet to concede inside the opening 15 minutes of a match.
Ins and outs
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI, 3.Scott JAMIESON (c), 7.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 8.Riley MCGREE, 9.Shayon HARRISON, 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 13.Nathaniel ATKINSON, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 18.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 19.Lachlan WALES, 21.Ramy NAJJARINE, 22.Curtis GOOD, 25.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Florin BERENGUER-BOHRER, 29.Jamie MACLAREN, 34.Connor METCALFE, 36.Dylan PIERIAS. **two to be omitted**
Ins: 13.Nathaniel ATKINSON (promoted), 21.Ramy NAJJARINE (promoted), 34.Connor METCALFE (promoted), 36.Dylan PIERIAS (promoted)
Outs: 2.Ritchie DE LAET (suspended – 1 week), 5.Bart SCHENKEVELD (suspended – 1 week)
Unavailable: 4.Harrison DELBRIDGE (hamstring)
Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3.Jason DAVIDSON, 4.Shane LOWRY, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 9.Andy KEOGH, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 17.Diego CASTRO, 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 21.Jacob ITALIANO , 22.Fabio FERREIRA, 23.Scott NEVILLE, 27.JUANDE, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY. **two to be omitted**
Ins: 11.Brendon SANTALAB (promoted), 21.Jacob ITALIANO (promoted)
Unavailable: 2.Alex GRANT (thigh – 1 week), 16.Tomislav MRCELA (thigh – 1 week)
How to watch
CLICK HERE to get your tickets as Melbourne City hosts Perth Glory at AAMI Park on Sunday.