Preview: Perth Glory v Sydney FC

This match could easily be determined by one or two pieces of individual brilliance.

Date: Saturday, November 12 Kick-off: 10.00pm AEDT, 7.00pm AWST Venue: nib Stadium

Head-to-head Played 18: Perth 4, Sydney 8, Draws: 6

Previous encounter Perth Glory 0, Sydney FC 2, nib Stadium, January 2011

History: Heading into last season, the record between Perth and Sydney had been relatively even with the Glory having four wins and the Sky Blues five. However, last season Sydney won their three clashes with the Glory.

When Sydney travelled to Perth for the first encounter in 2010-11, the reigning premiers hadn't won a single game, but that all changed as they claimed a 3-0 victory.

That set the tone for the remaining matches as Sydney claimed maximum points at Parramatta Stadium before winning the final game 2-0 at nib Stadium. That match was played in horrendously hot and humid conditions in late January on a day where Perth was on high alert following forecasts it would be hit by Cyclone Bianca.

That never happened but the Glory were hit by Cyclone Nicky as that man Nicky Carle produced one of the goals of the season, while also setting up one for Bruno Cazarine.

Aside from last year, Perth and Sydney produced a remarkable seven-goal clash which was won 5-2 by the Sky Blues in September 2008. However, two months later the Glory had their revenge when they won 4-1 at the SFS.

Form: Last five matches: Perth: WWWLL Sydney FC: DLWDW

The Glory may have won their first three games of the season but they have lost some momentum after losing the last two in difficult away matches at Central Coast and Newcastle.

The first loss against Central Coast saw Perth dominate large patches of the match as they went ahead through Travis Dodd. But some crucial concentration lapses in defence saw them ship two goals, both of which came pretty much against the run of play.

But having stayed on the Central Coast for the entire week before playing Newcastle at Ausgrid Stadium, Perth couldn't use travel as an excuse as they were ambushed by the Jets early on with two spectacular goals from New Zealand international Jeremy Brockie.

Sydney FC, meanwhile, are rapidly becoming known as the comeback kings. In their last three games against Adelaide, Heart and Gold Coast, they have fallen behind but have been good enough to win two of those matches and draw the other against the Melbourne side.

In the game against Adelaide, Sydney were easily the better side, but they have only impressed in patches during the other matches. Last week they were two down against Gold Coast but goals from Carle and Cazarine levelled the match before Karol Kisel converted an injury-time penalty.

Match Committee: Perth will be forced to do some re-shuffling after losing right-back Scott Neville possibly for the rest of the season with a tear to the lateral ligament in his right knee. Josh Risdon, so impressive in the pre-season game against Al Ahli, will replace him while left-back Todd Howarth's spot in the side may come under scrutiny after a poor performance last week.

Glory coach Ian Ferguson has opted to use the explosive Andrezinho as a sub over the last two matches, but at home against the Sky Blues he could try and expose the Sydney defence from the start by bringing Andrezinho onto the left flank for Adam Hughes who seems better in a holding midfield role. Don't be surprised to see former Qantas Socceroo Mile Sterjovski play either.

Sydney have suffered a big loss in the form of marquee man Brett Emerton, who will be on national duties as the Qantas Socceroos take on Thailand. Emerton played one of his best matches for his new club in the dramatic win over Gold Coast, but his loss could be offset by young gun Terry Antonis.

He may be just 17, but Antonis dominated Adelaide a few weeks ago and has been in good touch for the Qantas Young Socceroos in their successful Asian Championships qualifying campaign. However, Antonis has played three games in just eight days, so may be used as a substitute for this match.

Danger men: Liam Miller - His clash with Carle in the midfield could be one of the highlights of the season.

Jamie Coyne - He's only scored the one goal in a Sky Blue shirt, but he's certainly the one to watch in this encounter. Coyne was unceremoniously left out of Perth's side for the last six matches of 2010-11 due to a contractual clause which would have seen him automatically re-signed for a year by the Glory if he played one more match. Unhappy with his treatment, the former Glory skipper will certainly have a point to prove in Saturday's game.

At the end of the day… This is a really tough match to pick, especially as it could easily be determined by one or two pieces of individual brilliance. Both teams have players more than capable of this. On the purple side, there's the sublime skills of Miller, the excitement of Andrezinho and the predatory tendencies of Shane Smeltz. On the blue side, Carle is in simply dynamic form, Kisel is inventive and Antonis brings youthful enthusiasm.

Perth produced a sensational performance in their opening game against Adelaide United. The result may have been just 1-0 but it could easily have been 6-0. Since then, they were solid against Melbourne Heart (2-1) and fairly untroubled by Wellington (1-0).

However, not entirely happy with the performance at home against the Phoenix, Ferguson has tinkered with the structure and it may not have quite worked. But in front of a home crowd, the Glory will be desperate to post a win, especially as last season, one loss became two and then two became three and so on. Those memories will still be fresh in Ferguson's mind.

Sydney, on the other hand, appear to be in better form and certainly should head west with some confidence after their thrilling win over Gold Coast. Going forward, the Sky Blues seem to have re-discovered their attacking mojo after the side struggled to adapt to the absence of the now departed Alex Brosque for much of last season.

This is partly to do with Kisel's skill in delivering the right ball from the midfield but a big part of it is also Carle being injury free and determined to make up for a disappointing previous campaign. However, questions still remain over Sydney's defence after conceding early goals in all of the last three games.

If the Glory find such defensive holes, they have some serious firepower to capitalise on these, but the Perth side also desperately need to re-discover the defensive solidity they demonstrated during the season's first three weeks.