Preview: Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory

Since demolishing Perth Glory 6-2 in a record-breaking result in January 2010, the fortunes have changed somewhat for Melbourne in fixtures between these two sides.

Date: Saturday 24 March, 2012 Kick-off: 6.30pm AWST, 9.30pm AEDT Venue: nib Stadium

Head-to-head Played: 20 Wins: Perth 8, Melbourne Victory 7, Draws: 5

Previous encounter Perth Glory 4, Melbourne Victory 1, January 2012

History: Since demolishing Perth Glory 6-2 in a record-breaking result in January 2010, the fortunes have changed somewhat for Melbourne in fixtures between these two sides, with Glory winning three of the next five encounters.

This season, Perth have certainly enjoyed the better of the matches. Down 2-0 and with Liam Miller dismissed, the odds of Perth getting anything from their first clash with Victory were pretty long. But in an incredible fightback, Glory levelled the encounter 2-2 and probably should have won it if Shane Smeltz had his scoring boots on.

But the second clash in January proved to be an absolute romp for Glory as they ran riot in a 4-1 result that could have been much worse for Jim Magilton's men.

Form: Past five matches: Perth: WLWWL Melbourne Victory: LDLLW

Summary of form: Glory have won three of their past five matches but will be somewhat disappointed they followed up a 1-0 win over league leader Central Coast with an insipid 3-0 defeat to cellar dweller Gold Coast last Sunday.

Glory were down to 10 men by the 36th minute last week when Dean Heffernan was sent off and ended up conceding two goals during injury time.

Strangely enough, Victory's form has been the polar opposite of Perth's. Three losses from the past four games saw Melbourne's finals hopes dashed with two matches remaining.

But, at long last, everything eventually clicked for Melbourne against Wellington last Friday night as they unleashed against a disappointing Wellington in a 3-0 win.

Match Committee: Perth Glory will be hoping Jacob Burns is fit to take on Victory after the skipper missed last week's clash with bruised ribs. Burns is still somewhat sore but may be rushed into the side to boost an undermanned central midfield that was also missing the departed Adam Hughes (China) and injured Miller (hamstring).

Evan Berger continues to be listed as indefinite with his own hamstring issues, while Chris Coyne is still on the sidelines with his Achilles tear.

Marco Rojas will definitely miss this encounter after suffering a broken jaw against Wellington last weekend in a controversial clash with Manny Muscat.

Aside from Rojas, it's difficult to tell how Magilton will go with his selection for this final round of the season. Carlos Hernandez wasn't expected to play, but with news emerging that the club have opened up negotiations with the Costa Rican, he could be a starter.

Having produced a number of good saves against the Phoenix, Tando Velaphi may remain in goal at the expense of Ante Covic, while youngster Julius Davies could be given another run after making his Victory debut against the Phoenix once being cleared to play.

Danger men: Shane Smeltz - The last time Smeltz enjoyed a day out was against Victory in January, when he scored twice before giving up the hat-trick when he selflessly told Mile Sterjovski to take one of the two penalties Victory conceded.

Smeltz has been struggling with injury but returned to the fold last weekend and looked a little rusty. Expect him to have improved from that outing this weekend.

Archie Thompson - Although he missed about 1800 shots at goal last weekend, Thompson was still probably the most dangerous Victory player on the park as he set up all three of his side's goals.

More than aware of his dodgy finishing, Thompson has already tweeted that he's packing his loud orange boots for this clash with Glory in a bid to bring himself some luck on Saturday night.

At the end of the day… This is a really tough match to call, considering it's the last game of the season and Melbourne will be desperate to finish on a high.

Normally, you'd give the away team in Perth little chance of coming away with the chocolates, but Victory will also be desperate to atone for their last effort at nib Stadium last January and will take some form into the game after last week's result.

Glory haven't been at their best over the past month since Miller hurt his hamstring, but they've still managed to notch up three wins, including a 1-0 result against Central Coast on a brutally hot day.

The injuries are starting to take their toll on Glory, as shown by last week's effort, but Ian Ferguson's men have it all to play for in the last round as they look to secure third on the table and the possibility of home finals the first two weekends. Should be a cracking match!