Official Preview: Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory
Go for Glory and get the Victory! Perth have already turned Melbourne over once
Sunday 14th November 4:00pm ME Bank Stadium
Go for Glory and get the Victory! Perth have already turned Melbourne over once in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season, can they do it again?
It seems a long while ago now, but when Glory faced Victory at AAMI Park in Week 2, goals for Jamie Harnwell and Mile Sterjovski were enough to propel the West Coast side to the top of the Hyundai A-League ladder. It was the first time in eight matches against Victory in Melbourne that Perth had secured a win and confidence was sky-high.
Prospects looked great for the remainder of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season. So who would have thought that things would go so horribly wrong to the extent that a recent draw at home against Melbourne Heart would be the first time in eight games that Perth would avoid defeat?
As they try and resurrect their season, they-ll be hoping for a repeat of the kind of performance - or at least a similar amount of spirit - that scored them their first win at AAMI Park.
The visitors to nib Stadium are having a frustrating season too. Their home form, while patchy at best at AAMI, looked to have taken a turn for the better with a couple of headline-grabbing wins over Sydney and Adelaide at Etihad, but last week-s loss to Gold Coast United means Victory have now lost more games than they have won in the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season.
While defeat at home to Gold Coast - and, indeed, to Glory earlier in the season - raised an eyebrow or two, Victory-s away form has been largely poor throughout and seeing them struggle on the road is becoming the norm. They simply aren-t the same side away from home.
Although there was no shame in their last away defeat - to lose at Suncorp Stadium to an in-form Brisbane Roar side is hardly a shock - it makes up part of a worrying bigger picture. Despite putting in a great performance, the loss in Brisbane made it just one win in their last 12 matches on the road.
It-s the first time in their history that they-ve gone a dozen away matches without winning at least twice. Indeed, if they don-t beat Perth at nib this weekend, their sixth winless away game will equal an unwanted club record.
The last time Victory won away from home was all the way back in Week 4. That 1-0 win against the Gold Coast looks like an increasingly good result as the season goes on, especially considering that the same side turned the tables on them with that smash-and-grab win at Etihad last week.
Victory are boosted by the return to action of veteran striker Archie Thompson, who made his comeback from the bench at half-time in game with Gold Coast United last weekend, less than eight months after undergoing a knee reconstruction. The marksman has signed a new three-year deal and will be looking to get amongst the goals as quickly as possible.
This one is such an intriguing tussle - a team who can-t win away from home against a side that hasn-t won on their own turf since Week 5. It would take a brave pundit to confidentially predict the outcome.
With everything to play for, and both sides hungry for points, the competitiveness on the field will be intense. If the noise created by The Shed so far this season, both in their early success and in the tough times that have followed, is anything to go by, then the passion and commitment on the pitch will surely be matched in the stands. Get down to nib Stadium on Sunday and play your part in this Hyundai A-League clash.