Preview: Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory

Victory know they will finish in third or fourth place on the table at the end of the season and host a home final in the first week of the post-season, but the situation is not so clear for Perth.

Date: Saturday 23 March, 2013 Kick-off: 5.30pm AEDT Venue: AAMI Park

Head-to-head Played: 23 Wins: Perth 9, Victory 9, Draws: 5

Previous encounter Glory 0, Victory 1, 19 January 2013

Form: Past five matches: Victory: LLWDD Glory: WLWLL

The Game Victory know they will finish in third or fourth place on the table at the end of the season and host a home final in the first week of the post-season, but the situation is not so clear for Perth.

Alistair Edwards' men sit three points out of the top six and will most likely need to pick up points in both of their remaining fixtures if they are to play finals.

A loss to Victory might not be detrimental (depending on other results over the weekend), but a win here and then another against Adelaide United in the final round could see Glory hit the finals with momentum.

Ange Postecoglou's side will be keen to find some form close to the finals, having now drawn their two most recent encounters against Brisbane and Sydney.

Both those matches were on the road though. Victory's last game at AAMI Park was a 5-0 thumping of Newcastle Jets and their home form in Melbourne this season has been pretty good.

The big issue MV - Can Victory cover the absence of their star players? Archie Thompson, Mark Milligan are away with the Socceroos, while Kiwi Marco Rojas is also on international duty. Ange Postecoglou has never been scared of playing the kids, but Thompson, Milligan and Rojas are three big names he will need to find cover for.

PG - Who leads the line with Shane Smeltz out? Like Victory attacker Marco Rojas, the prolific Glory marksman is also away with the New Zealand national side and this means inexperienced Glory coach Alistair Edwards faces a tough decision. Is Travis Dodd injury free and capable of playing 90 minutes? Has Ryo Nagai done enough to start up front after his maiden A-League goal last week? Will Nick Ward get promoted to the starting XI? Or Can Chris Harold do a job? Lots of questions for Edwards and the Glory hierarchy.

Gamebreaker Nathan Coe - The 28-year-old was in fine form last weekend against Sydney FC, saving an Alessandro Del Piero penalty and thwarting the Sky Blues on many other occasions. Coe has been one of Victory's most consistent performers this season and could easily register a clean sheet in this clash if recent form is anything to go by. Perth don't have a bevy of attacking options in their side, so Coe's performance in goal might prove to be the difference in this one.

Prediction: Victory 2-1 Glory If there is ever a good time to play Victory in Melbourne then this is it, but Glory haven't exactly been overly reliable this season and can't really be trusted to get a result. The visitors have more incentive to gain all three points, but this might play into the hands of the home side as Victory will attack on the counter and register another win.