Match preview: Sydney FC v Perth Glory
The party is probably still going in Perth, but the Glory players will have quickly shifted their focus to Thursday night’s top-of-the-table Hyundai A-League clash against Sydney FC.
Tony Popovic’s side head to Netstrata Jubilee Stadium as newly minted premiers after locking up top spot with their 1-0 win over Newcastle Jets on Sunday night.
With the silverware – the club’s first-ever in the Hyundai A-League – now in the trophy cabinet, Glory could start looking towards the Finals Series.
But you get the sense that is not Popovic’s style, especially with the chance to land a psychological blow on the Sky Blues should the two teams meet again at the business end of the campaign.
Sydney FC saw their lead to third-placed Melbourne Victory cut to just two points following their 1-1 draw with the Wanderers in the Derby on Saturday night.
The turn of events has given Steve Corica’s men little wiggle room in the quest for a crucial top-two finish.
While the head-to-head record this season stands at one win apiece, this is a fixture the Sky Blues have dominated in recent years.
WATCH FOR FREE: How to watch the Hyundai A-League LIVE and FREE
TALKING POINTS: Who can challenge Perth Glory in the Finals Series?
Sydney FC have won their last five Hyundai A-League games at home against Glory, outscoring them 19-1 in that time.
But Perth have improved on their travels this season, and are undefeated in their last 14 games away from home. Only once in the competition’s history has any team gone longer without a loss on the road (Brisbane Roar – 16 games in 2010/2011).
The Sky Blues plan to use Thursday night’s match against the Glory to celebrate skipper Alex Brosque’s career at the club. after he announced earlier this week that this season would be his last.
Key Opta stats
- Perth Glory picked up a 3-1 victory when these teams met earlier this year, snapping a nine-game losing streak against the Sky Blues in the Hyundai A-League.
- The most recent of those defeats came in this season's other meeting between the clubs, Sydney FC winning 2-1 at HBF Park in their Round 9 clash in December.
- Glory boasts a passing accuracy of 81% in the Hyundai A-League this season, the highest of any team in the competition.
- Sydney FC are the only Hyundai A-League team against whom Perth Glory skipper Diego Castro is yet to score a goal.
Ins and outs
Sydney FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 2.Aaron CALVER, 4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Jop van der LINDEN, 6.Josh BRILLANTE, 8.Paulo RETRE, 9.Adam LE FONDRE, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Danny DE SILVA, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE, 16.Reza GHOOCHANNEJHAD, 17.Anthony CACERES, 18. Jacob TRATT, 20.Alex CISAK (gk), 21. Mitch AUSTIN, 22.Siem DE JONG, 23.Rhyan GRANT **two to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Jop van der LINDEN (promoted), 21. Mitch AUSTIN (promoted)
Unavailable: 3.Ben WARLAND (ACL - indefinite), 7. Michael ZULLO (hamstring – 1 week), 12. Trent BUHAGIAR (ACL – indefinite), 19. Chris ZUVELA (ACL – indefinite)
Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2. Alex GRANT, 4.Shane LOWRY, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 17.Diego CASTRO, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 21.Jacob ITALIANO, 22.Fabio FERREIRA, 23.Scott NEVILLE, 29.Kristian POPOVIC, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY **two to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Alex GRANT (promoted), 14.Chris HAROLD (promoted), 15.Brandon WILSON (promoted), 16.Tomislav MRCELA (promoted), 21.Jacob ITALIANO (promoted), 29.Kristian POPOVIC (promoted)
Outs: 3.Jason DAVIDSON (knee injury – 1 week), 6.Dino DJULBIC (omitted), 9.Andy KEOGH (omitted), 27.JUANDE (groin injury – 1 week)
Unavailable: 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS (shoulder injury – 1 week)
How to watch
CLICK HERE to secure your seat at this top-of-the-table clash and celebrate Alex Brosque’s Sydney FC career in the Sky Blues’ final home match of the regular season.