Preview: Perth Glory v Brisbane Roar
Round 17's final game, this clash between Perth and Brisbane will have important repercussions for the Hyundai A-League table as well as the respective fates of both sides this season.
Date: Sunday December 6 Kick-off: 4:00pm AWST, 6:00pm AEST Venue: ME Bank Stadium 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.ticketmaster.com.
Head-to-head: Played 13: Wins: Brisbane Roar 9, Perth Glory 2, Draws: 2
Previous Meeting Perth Glory 4, Brisbane Roar 2, Suncorp Stadium, Round 7, September 2009
Last five rounds: Perth Glory: Round 12: North Queensland Fury 2, Perth Glory 1, Dairy Farmer's Stadium Round 13: Perth Glory 1, Melbourne Victory 2, ME Bank Stadium 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
Brisbane Roar: Round 12: Sydney FC 2, Brisbane Roar 1, Sydney Football Stadium Round 13: Brisbane Roar 1, Newcastle Jets 1, Suncorp Stadium Round 14: Adelaide United 0, Brisbane Roar 2, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 15: Brisbane Roar 0, Melbourne Victory 1, Suncorp Stadium Round 16: Brisbane Roar 4, Wellington Phoenix 1, Suncorp Stadium
Analysis: Round 17's final game, this clash between Perth and Brisbane will have important repercussions for the Hyundai A-League table as well as the respective fates of both sides this season.
Heading into the round, this may be a clash between fifth and seventh, but the congested table and tightness of the competition makes any points vital. For the Glory, if other results go their way, the Western Australians could be in third if they win, while a loss could see them clinging to sixth position on the table with the teams below them threatening in a big way.
Perth currently has 25 points and is three ahead of the Roar, who have managed 22 points despite an inconsistent season and the changeover of a coach. But a win to Brisbane will see the seventh-placed Roar primed for a tilt at the finals once again, especially as the club enjoys the next two matches at home. The Glory, meanwhile, face a tough road trip before Christmas as they travel to North Queensland and the Gold Coast, and a loss in this encounter won't do the confidence any good whatsoever before they fly east.
Brisbane has traditionally had the wood over Perth, the Roar having won nine of the 13 clashes between the clubs. Heading into this season, the Glory had only enjoyed the one victory over the Roar, way back in 2005-06, but Perth stunned Brisbane in Round 7 through a 4-2 result and the Glory will be looking to do the same once again in front of a home crowd.
Perth enjoys a fantastic record at home, having lost at ME Bank Stadium just once this season to League leader Melbourne. The Glory also head into this clash on the back of a three-match unbeaten run, where they have secured draws at Wellington and the Central Coast, while also beating Sydney 2-0. Most importantly, the Glory seem to have taken the defensive mistakes that cost them so dearly earlier in the season out of their game, having only conceded the one goal in the last three games. But the club will be under pressure to maintain that against a Roar side that put four past Wellington last week and especially with a defence that may be missing Qantas Socceroos hopeful Chris Coyne.
Glory coach Dave Mitchell instructed Coyne to miss Friday's training session as he struggles to recover from a hamstring injury sustained against Central Coast last week in a 0-0 result. The coach has repeatedly praised Coyne and his central defensive partner Andy Todd for their efforts, but Coyne's absence could force a defensive re-shuffle that Brisbane may be able to exploit. Although Andrija Jukic is the only player to have officially been included in the Glory's extended squad for Sunday's match, Mitchell hinted at bringing in club veteran Jamie Harnwell if Coyne was unavailable. Harnwell, though would be used off the bench as he plays his first game since injuring his knee back in Round 7. There is also an injury cloud hanging over Glory stopper Tando Velaphi, but the goalkeeper trained on Friday despite his back complaint and should be fit.
The Roar have injury issues of their own, however. After hitting their groove under Ange Postecoglou in a 4-1 win over the Phoenix last weekend, the coach has lost three important players in hamstrung pair Reinaldo and Danny Tiatto, along with Matt McKay (quad). Reinaldo and Tiatto have been included in the squad but won't fly west, Postecoglou said on Friday. Another huge loss for the Roar, though, is Scotsman Charlie Miller, who has parted ways with the club immediately on Friday after being dissatisfied with selection opportunities under Postecoglou.
Despite the unrest, the coach has been able to bring in some handy players as well. Henrique returns from a one-match suspension to lift his side along the flank, while Massimo Murdocca and Michael Zullo come back from injury, with Bob Malcom also promoted for this clash. However, whether the Roar can pull it together without Miller and Tiatto's experience amidst what seems to be more internal unrest at the club remains to be seen.
Perth Glory Squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3.Jamie COYNE, 4.Andy TODD, 6.Chris COYNE, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 8.Victor SIKORA, 10.Wayne SRHOJ, 11.Branko JELIC, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17.Todd HOWARTH, 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 20.Aleks VRTESKI (gk), 21.Mile STERJOVSKI, 23.Andrija JUKIC, 28.Tommy AMPHLETT
*one to be omitted*
In: Andrija JUKIC (promoted)
Unavailable: Scott BULLOCH (thigh - 1 week), Brent GRIFFITHS (hamstring - 1 week), Anthony SKORICH (foot - 5 weeks)
Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Liam REDDY (GK), 2. Andrew PACKER, 3. Craig MOORE (c), 4. Luke DEVERE, 5. Josh McCLOUGHAN, 6. David DODD, 7. Michael ZULLO, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 9. Sergio VAN DIJK, 10. Charlie MILLER, 11. REINALDO, 13. HENRIQUE, 14. Adam SAROTA, 16. Bob MALCOLM, 17. Mitch NICHOLS, 18. Danny TIATTO, 19. Isaka CERNAK, 20. Griffin McMASTER (GK), 21. Tommy OAR
*four to be omitted*
In: Bob MALCOLM (promoted), Massimo MURDOCCA (promoted), Michael ZULLO (promoted), HENRIQUE (returns from suspension)
Out: Matt McKAY (Hamstring injury)