Preview: Perth Glory v Adelaide United

In another big Friday night clash, this match will give us a big indication of just how legitimate Perth and Adelaide's claims are for this season's Hyundai A-League title.

In another big Friday night clash, this match will give us a big indication of just how legitimate Perth and Adelaide's claims are for this season's Hyundai A-League title.

It's shaping as a particularly even contest, though, albeit between two sides that haven't quite produced the thrilling football many think they're capable of. While there was plenty of attention focussed on the Glory's consecutive away wins against Brisbane and Newcastle, they've still managed just eight points from their last five games, the exact same number as an Adelaide outfit that's lying in seventh, but still only four points adrift of ladder leading Sydney FC.

Neither coach would have been particularly pleased with last week's results, as both sides drew 1-1. Glory coach Dave Mitchell said his team lacked spark as it managed just one goal against a North Queensland side that played the entire second half with 10 men. Worse still, the Fury pulled a goal back in the 70th minute in a particularly brave performance as the Glory appeared lethargic and frustrated for long periods.

Adelaide, too, may have drawn 1-1 with Newcastle, but there was plenty to concern Aurelio Vidmar. After going behind to an early Jets' goal, his side lacked cohesion and communication throughout the first half, his defenders knocking the ball around at the back with little inclination to find an attacking midfielder. The poor showing prompted Vidmar to move away from this season's preferred 4-5-1 formation as early as the 55th minute, introducing young striker Matthew Leckie to the mix. With Leckie linking with Lloyd Owusu up front, the Reds appeared a changed side and they eventually levelled through a stunning Cassio volley. But a missed penalty from Travis Dodd in the 58th minute will still hurt and the Reds should have come away with full points.

Mitchell is expecting Vidmar to persist with two strikers this week but it's still possible the Reds could play the 4-5-1 formation in the first half as it served them well against Perth in a 1-0 Round 1 win. Having weathered a first-half Glory storm, the Reds could bring Leckie on at the break and use his pace and trickery to expose a tiring Glory defence in the second 45.

Adelaide's plans haven't been helped by a knee injury to Lucas Pantelis. The midfielder's has been named in the squad but it appears Fabian Barbiero will replace him after recovering from ostetits pubis. Alemao and Daniel Mullen have also been added to a squad that will be cut by three before kick-off.

The Glory has also suffered a major blow, losing skipper Jacob Burns to a one-match suspension for accruing five yellow cards. It seems likely right-back Jamie Coyne will slot into Burns' midfield role after playing there for much of last season, with Scott Neville used at full back. But Mitchell can still use the skilful Andrija Jukic in the middle, but may do so off the bench. Left midfielder Todd Howarth has also been included in the squad to replace Burns, while striker Branko Jelic will start this week, relegating Eugene Dadi to the bench.

Having broken a big hoodoo against the Roar three weeks ago, there seems no better time for the Glory to get one up over Adelaide after four consecutive losses. Depending on the earlier result, a win could even move them on top of the table, while an Adelaide victory will see the Reds right back in contention.

Perth Glory Squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3.Jamie COYNE, 4.Andy TODD, 6.Chris COYNE, 8.Victor SIKORA, 10.Wayne SRHOJ, 11.Branko JELIC, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 14.Eugene DADI, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17.Todd HOWARTH, 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 20.Aleks VRTESKI (gk), 21.Mile STERJOVSKI, 23.Andrija JUKIC

In: Todd HOWARTH (promoted)

Out: Jacob BURNS (suspended - accumulation of yellow cards)

Unavailable: Jimmy DOWNEY (knee - 4 weeks), Jamie HARNWELL (knee - 7 weeks), Anthony SKORICH (foot - 2 weeks), AMARAL (thigh - 1 week)

Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 2.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 3.ALEMAO, 4.Iain FYFE, 5.Daniel MULLEN, 6.CASSIO, 7.Lucas PANTELIS, 8.Kristian SARKIES, 9.CRISTIANO, 10.Adam HUGHES, 11.Lloyd OWUSU, 13.Travis DODD (c), 14.Scott JAMIESON, 16.Inseob SHIN, 18.Fabian BARBIERO, 19.Mathew LECKIE, 20.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 21.Mark RUDAN

*3 to be omitted*

In: ALEMAO (promoted), Daniel MULLEN (returns from international duty), Fabian BARBIERO (returns from injury)

Out: Nil

Unavailable: Paul REID (thigh/quad - 1 week), Michael MARRONE (knee - 1 week), Joe COSTA (knee - indefinite)