Match preview: Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory
When second-placed Melbourne Victory welcomed first-placed Perth Glory to AAMI Park in February it was described as one of the games of the Hyundai A-League season.
This Saturday evening (10.00pm AEDT kick off) they meet again and the ramifications for both sides could be massive.
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A win for Perth at HBF Park would all but secure the Premiers Plate with nine points already the gap between themselves and second-placed Sydney FC.
It would cap a fine debut season for Tony Popovic at the helm of the former National Soccer League (NSL) heavyweights.
Victory meanwhile have struggled since the beginning of February, picking up their first win in almost two months of football in Round 22's 2-1 win over Brisbane Roar.
Kevin Muscat’s team have twice lost to the Glory this season, 3-2 in Round 2 and then 2-1 in the aforementioned fixture at AAMI Park in February.
And the long trip west doesn’t make things any easier for the Big V.
This match-up could well prove to be a dress rehearsal for the Grand Final, so enjoy the ride!
Key Opta stats
- Perth Glory have won four of their last five home games against Melbourne Victory in the Hyundai A-League, keeping a first-half clean sheet in each of their last three such fixtures.
- Melbourne Victory have lost only one of their last 11 games away from home in the Hyundai A-League (W8, D2).
- Victory have averaged 56% possession this season in the Hyundai A-League; the highest share of any side.
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, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 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: 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC (promoted), 20.Jake BRIMMER (promoted), 21.Jacob ITALIANO (promoted)
Outs: 29.Kristian POPOVIC (not selected)
Unavailable: 2.Alex GRANT (thigh – 2 weeks)
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matthew ACTON (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Corey BROWN, 4.Keisuke HONDA, 5.Georg NIEDERMEIER, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7. Kenny ATHIU, 8. Terry ANTONIS, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.James TROISI, 11.Ola TOIVONEN, 14. Thomas DENG, 15.Raul BAENA, 16.Josh HOPE, 17. James DONACHIE, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI (c), 24. Elvis KAMSOBA **two to be omitted**
Ins: 8. Terry ANTONIS (return from injury), 14. Thomas DENG (return from International duty), 17. James DONACHIE (return from suspension), 24. Elvis KAMSOBA (return from injury)
Outs: 25. Anthony LESIOTIS (not selected), 19. Rahmat AKBARI (not selected)
How to watch
Click here to get your tickets for this massive clash!