Perth Glory will have a point to prove against Melbourne City after their previously serene progress at the top of the ladder hit a slight hitch last weekend.
Tony Popovic's men were forced to come from behind to eke out a 1-1 draw away to Wellington Phoenix as their lead over Melbourne Victory was trimmed to two points.
Diego Castro provided the equaliser off the bench and could be considered for a start at home to a tricky opponent on Saturday night.
Melbourne City eased to a 3-0 victory over Newcastle Jets in a vindication of Warren Joyce's decision to omit popular striker Bruno Fornaroli, who has been left out again for this clash.
Whether they have enough firepower in his absence to trouble Glory at nib Stadium remains to be seen, but a four-point buffer to sixth-placed Brisbane Roar should provide some measure of calm within the squad.
It's set up to be a fascinating encounter in Western Australia, in what will be Luke Brattan's 150th appearance in the Hyundai A-League.
Key Opta stats
- Perth Glory have won four of their last five encounters with Melbourne City (L1) in the Hyundai A-League, while City has won just one of their last 10 games at nib Stadium (D1, L8).
- City have won each of their three games when they’ve scored a first-half goal this Hyundai A-League season; however, they’ve picked up just one competition point from their three games when they’ve been kept goalless in the first half(D1, L2).
- Glory winger Christopher Ikonomidis has been directly involved in six goals so far this campaign (4 goals, 2 assists); only Victory’s Keisuke Honda (7; 4G,3A) has been directly involved in more.
Ins and Outs
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, 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 17.Diego CASTRO, 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 22.Fabio FERREIRA, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC (promoted), 14.Chris HAROLD (promoted)
Unavailable: 2.Alex GRANT (foot – 2 weeks), 23.Scott NEVILLE (ankle - 2 weeks), 27.JUANDE (knee – 1 week)
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 2.Ritchie De LAET, 3.Scott JAMIESON (c) , 4.Harrison DELBRIDGE, 5.Bart SCHENKEVELD, 7.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 8.Riley McGREE, 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, 34.Connor METCALFE
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 21.Ramy NAJJARINE (promoted), 34.Connor METCALFE (promoted)
Unavailable: 11.Michael O’HALLORAN (hamstring)
How to watch
Tune in to FOX SPORTS 505 at 10:00pm AEDT to see how City cope with the trip to Perth, or catch it on the MyFootball Live App, live, fast and data-free for Telstra mobile customers. International viewers in countries without a broadcasting rights holder can watch via the My Football YouTube channel.
Catch the table-toppers in action on Saturday night! Purchase your tickets here.