Preview: Gold Coast v Perth
Both Gold Coast and Perth Glory are coming off losses but you'd have to favour the home side in this contest.
Date: Sunday December 20 Kick-off: 6pm local (7pm AEDT) Venue: Skilled Park TV and Radio: Live & exclusive broadcast on Fox Sports 2 and Sky Sport 1. Hyundai A-League club broadcast partner is 6PR (Perth) 882AM. To purchase tickets visit www.ticketek.com.au.
Head-to-head Played 2: Wins: Gold Coast United 1, Perth Glory 0. Draws: 1
Previous meeting Gold Coast United 2, Perth Glory 1, Skilled Park, Round 11, October 2009
Past five matches: Gold Coast: Round 14: Gold Coast United 1, Sydney FC 0, Skilled Park Round 15: Adelaide United 1, Gold Coast United 1, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 16: Melbourne Victory 4, Gold Coast United 0, Etihad Stadium Round 17: Gold Coast United 2, Central Coast 1, Skilled Park Round 18: Newcastle Jets 3, Gold Coast 2, Energy Australia Stadium
Perth Glory: Round 14: Wellington Phoenix 1, Perth Glory 1, Westpac Stadium Round 15: Perth Glory 2, Sydney FC 0, ME Bank Stadium Round 16: Central Coast 0, Perth Glory 0, Bluetongue Stadium Round 17: Perth Glory 1, Brisbane Roar 1, ME Bank Stadium Round 18: North Queensland 1, Perth Glory 0, Dairy Farmers Stadium
Analysis: Both Gold Coast and Perth Glory are coming off losses but you'd have to favour the home side in this contest.
GCU lost 3-2 to Newcastle but for large parts of the game looked the better side. Shane Smeltz was in good form with two goals while Charlie Miller has already shown he'll be a more than handy acquisition at his new club.
Jason Culina said Miller strengthens his team's chances of winning the premiership after combining with the former Roar player for the first time. And coach Miron Bleiberg is a fan of Miller's flamboyance too.
Gold Coast hasn't been in top form, recording just one win from the past four matches, but hopes to get on a roll with a string of matches at home. For this contest it has named Joel Porter and Adama Traore, who have recovered from knee injuries, and James Brown on its extended squad.
The immediate future isn't looking as rosy for the visitors. Perth was beaten 1-0 by North Queensland but the damage could've been worse if the Fury had been more ruthless with their 15 attempts at goal.
There wasn't a great deal to like about their performance although to see Jamie Harwell have an impact after coming off the bench would've been heartening to supporters.
The Glory had a short turnaround between Rounds 17 & 18 but that excuse is wearing thin with those who matter out west. Coach David Mitchell said his side lacked fight while club owner Tony Sage was so annoyed with the effort, he threatened to bail on the club if they don't make the finals.
Despite the angst, the Glory is likely to make just one change for this contest with Chris Coyne the only inclusion to the squad named on Thursday.
A side under siege normally responds but consecutive away games on the other side of the country are sure to take its toll on Perth.
Gold Coast squad: 1.Jess VANSTRATTAN (gk), 2.Steve PANTELIDIS, 3.Michael THWAITE, 7.Zenon CARAVELLA, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 10.Jason CULINA (c), 13.Bas VAN DEN BRINK, 14.Joel PORTER, 15.Tahj MINNIECON, 16.Kristian REES, 17.Matt OSMAN, 18.James BROWN, 19.Andrew BARISIC, 20.Scott HIGGINS (gk), 22.Adama TRAORE, 23.Steve FITZSIMMONS, 24.ANDERSON, 34.Charlie MILLER.
In: Joel PORTER (return from knee injury), James BROWN (promoted), Adama TRAORE (return from knee injury)
Unavailable: Daniel PIORKOWSKI (ankle injury - indefinite), ROBSON (knee injury - 3 weeks), JEFFERSON (knee injury - indefinite)
Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Jimmy DOWNEY, 3.Jamie COYNE, 4.Andy TODD, 5.Jamie HARNWELL, 6.Chris COYNE, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 8.Victor SIKORA, 10.Wayne SRHOJ, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 13.Scott BULLOCH, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17.Todd HOWARTH, 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 20.Aleks VRTESKI (gk), 21.Mile STERJOVSKI, 23.Andrija JUKIC
In: Chris COYNE (return from injury)
Unavailable: Brent GRIFFITHS (hamstring - 1 week), Branko JELIC (ankle - 1 week), Anthony SKORICH (foot - 5 weeks)