Perth Glory v Wellington Phoenix: match preview
It's third versus fourth as two of the competition's form teams go head-to-head at HBF Park in pursuit of second place in the Hyundai A-League ladder.
Perth Glory had set a club record six-match winning run before racking up back-to-back draws in recent weeks, while Wellington Phoenix got back on track with a 2-1 win against Newcastle Jets in their last outing after their own club record nine-match undefeated streak came to an end.
Ufuk Talay's Phoenix make the long trip across the Tasman coming off a bye week, after left-back Liberato Cacace was nominated for the Hyundai A-League Player of the Month for January.
A win in Western Australia would see the ‘Nix overtake their Distance Derby rivals in the table, and possibly climb to second depending on the Melbourne Derby result. The Kiwi club have never finished higher than fourth in their Hyundai A-League history.
It will be 70 days, come Friday, since Tony Popovic's Premiers last lost a match and they claimed a 2-1 victory in the New Zealand capital back in October, with Bruno Fornaroli and Chris Ikonomidis on the scoresheet.
The Uruguayan has hit top form in a purple jersey, scoring six goals in his last six games, to go fifth in the Golden Boot charts. His season's tally of nine is one goal behind Wellington's Mexican ace Ulises Davila – who netted against Glory last time out – and has 10 goals in 15 Hyundai A-League games.
Friday, 7 February 2020
Kick-off: 6.45pm local, 9.45pm AEDT
Venue: HBF Park
Broadcast: FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports
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Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Jacob TRATT, 4.Gregory WUTHRICH, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.James MEREDITH, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 12.Kim SOO-BEOM, 13.Osama MALIK, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 17.Diego CASTRO (c), 18.Nicholas D’AGOSTINO, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Vince LIA, 28.Gabriel POPOVIC, 29.Kristian POPOVIC, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY **1-3 to be omitted**
Ins: 13.Osama MALIK (returns from injury), 17.Diego CASTRO (c) (promoted)
Outs: 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS (ACL - Season)
Unavailable: 6.Dino DJULBIC (ankle – indefinite), 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS (knee – season), 27.JUANDE (groin – 1 week)
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Stefan MARINOVIC (gk), 2.Liam McGING, 3.Luke DEVERE, 4.Te Atawhai HUDSON-WIHONGI, 5.Matti STEINMANN, 6.Tim PAYNE, 7. Reno PISCOPO, 8.Cameron DEVLIN, 9. David Ball, 10.Ulises DAVILA, 11.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 12.Brandon Wilson, 13.Liberato CACACE, 14.Alex RUFER, 17.Callan Elliot, 20.Oliver SAIL (gk), 21.Callum MCCOWATT, 27.Steven TAYLOR (c), 31.Ben WAINE, 32.Sam SUTTON, 88. Gary HOOPER **2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Liam McGING (promoted), 5.Matti STEINMANN (Return from Suspension), 7. Reno PISCOPO (Return from International Duty)
Outs: 23.Walter SCOTT (Injury – Knee)
Unavailable: 16.Louis FENTON (Shoulder - Season)
Did you know?
- Perth Glory are undefeated in their last four Hyundai A-League matches against Wellington Phoenix, averaging three goals per game in that span.
- Phoenix have lost only one of their last 11 Hyundai A-League matches and haven’t trailed in any match during that run.
- Both Phoenix and Glory have conceded just four goals in the opening half hour of games this Hyundai A-League season, the joint fewest of any team in the competition.
- Glory’s Bruno Fornaroli has scored eight goals in nine matches against the Phoenix. Only against Newcastle Jets (11) has he scored more against a single opponent.