Preview: Perth Glory v Sydney FC
This match is shaping as a do-or-die encounter for both clubs as they look to arrest form slumps over the last few rounds.
Date: Sunday October 19 Kick-off: 2:00pm local (5:00pm AEST) Venue: Members Equity Stadium TV and Radio: Live and exclusive broadcast on FOX Sports 1 and delayed telecast Sky Sport 2 (10:00pm Sunday evening). Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is 6PR 882AM (Perth). To purchase tickets visit www.ticketmaster.com.au.
Head-to-head 10 A-League meetings: Sydney - 4 wins, Perth - 1 win Draws - 5
Previous meeting Sydney FC 5, Perth 2, SFS, Round 3, August 31, 2008
Past Five Games Perth Glory: Round 3: Sydney FC 5, Perth Glory 2, Sydney Football Stadium Round 4: Queensland Roar 3, Perth Glory 0, Members Equity Stadium Round 5: Perth Glory 1, Wellington Phoenix 0, Members Equity Stadium Round 6: Central Coast Mariners 4, Perth Glory 1, Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium Round 7: Melbourne Victory 4, Perth Glory 0, Telstra Dome
Sydney: Round 3: Sydney FC 5, Perth Glory 2, Sydney Football Stadium Round 4: Newcastle Jets 0, Sydney FC 0, EnergyAustralia Stadium Round 5: Sydney FC 3, Adelaide United 0, Sydney Football Stadium Round 2: Central Coast Mariners 2, Sydney FC 3, Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium Round 7: Sydney FC 1, Queensland Roar 1, SFS
Analysis This match is shaping as a do-or-die encounter for both clubs as they look to arrest form slumps over the last few rounds. The last-placed Glory have endured a torrid time since copping a 4-0 hiding from Melbourne in the last round, while Sydney was extremely fortunate to come away with a point from its clash with the Roar. Both clubs are under pressure to pick up results a third of the way through the season and that process starts at Members Equity Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
In fairness to the Glory, they went into their loss to Melbourne with one of their weakest teams on the park, as Dave Mitchell's squad has been severely hit by injuries, suspensions and a lack of confidence. Mitchell feels this lack of belief is a major contributor to the school-boy defensive errors that have plagued the Glory this season and seen the WA side concede 20 goals over the first seven matches.
But the FIFA weekend away has allowed several players extra recovery time and the Glory's defence could be bolstered significantly by the inclusion of Olyroos goalkeeper Tando Velaphi behind a back four that may boast former Socceroo Hayden Foxe once again.
Foxe hasn't played this season after aggravating an old foot injury during the Pre-Season Cup, but he appeared for a half in the Glory's friendly win over WA State club Sorrento last weekend and could be in line for a recall, bringing substantial experience and leadership to the defensive group. His usual partner at centre-back David Tarka may also start after being a substitute for the Victory game, while Mitchell's midfield will be significantly stronger if Brazilian playmaker Amaral returns from a hamstring injury. Amaral's South American partner in crime, Adrian Trinidad should also be included in the squad after firing in a brace for Perth's National Youth League side, although it seems likely the Argentine will be used as an attacking sub later in the game.
Despite being second on the table, the Sky Blues are also going into this encounter under a little bit of pressure after collecting just one point from their last two games. Sydney was beaten on the road in Wellington and produced a last-gasp Stuart Musialik equaliser in the 1-1 clash with the Roar last start. However, for much of that encounter, Sydney dominated possession and the tempo of the match, although its strike force failed to convert several chances until second-half injury time.
After a fortnight of having his form questioned, A-grade striker John Aloisi is set for a massive game, giving Perth's defence another reason to worry, while Musialik and exciting youngster Shannon Cole will only benefit from their experience in camp with the Socceroos over the last week.
At this stage, the Sky Blues also have no new injury concerns and will probably field the same XI that started against the Roar. This means Glory fans won't have any chance for a dig at former skipper Simon Colosimo, who is still six weeks away from resuming with a groin injury, while Jacob Timpano (ankle - 1 week) and Mike Enfield (knee - 1 week) look likely to be given more time.
Perth Glory Squad. 30.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 3.David TARKA, 4.Jamie COYNE (c), 5.Jamie HARNWELL, 7.Nick RIZZO, 9.Adrian TRINIDAD, 10.AMARAL, 11.Scott BULLOCH, 13.Nikita RUKAVYTSYA, 14.Eugene DADI, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17.James DOWNEY, 18.Hayden FOXE, 19.Naum SEKULOVSKI, 20.Frank JURIC (gk), 22.Wayne SRHOJ. * two to be omitted
In: 3.David TARKA (promoted), 9.Adrian TRINIDAD (promoted), 10.AMARAL (return from injury), 18.Hayden FOXE (return from injury). Out: 26.Jeff BRIGHT (end of short term contract), 27.Stuart McLAREN (end of short term contract).
Sydney FC Squad: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Iain FYFE, 3. Nikolas TSATTALIOS, 5. Mitchell PRENTICE, 6. Tony POPOVIC (c), 7. Rob MIDDLEBY, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 10. Steve CORICA, 11. Brendon SANTALAB, 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 18. Adam CASEY, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 23. John ALOISI, 27. Matthew JURMAN. *2 to be omitted.
In: Nikolas Tsattalios (return international duty), Matthew Jurman (return international duty). Out: Nil. Unavailable: Simon Colosimo (groin - 7 weeks), Mike Enfield (knee - indefinite), Jacob Timpano (ankle - 2 weeks).