Preview: Perth Glory v Western Sydney Wanderers FC

It’s top and bottom of the Hyundai A-League at nib. The newly crowned champions of Asia versus the Westfield FFA Cup finalists and league leaders. Rukavytsya returns to Perth while Glory’s Hersi faces some old mates.

MATCH DETAILS

Saturday, 15 November 2014

nib Stadium, Perth

Kick-Off: 6:45 PM (Local) (9:45 PM AEDT)

Referee: Shaun Evans
Assistant Referee 1: Tim Mihevc
Assistant Referee 2: Josh Mannella
Fourth Official: David Bruce

TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 (FOX SPORTS 4HD & 4) from 9.40pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: 720 ABC Perth, Local Radio WA, 702 ABC Sydney & ABC Local Radio NSW, 666 ABC Canberra, ABC Grandstand Digital,   ABC Grandstand Online/ ABC Radio Mobile phone app  

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #PERvWSW

Perth Glory Squad: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (GK), 2.Jack CLISBY, 3.Brandon O’NEILL, 5.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Youssouf HERSI, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 13.Diogo FERREIRA, 14.Chris HAROLD, 18.Jordan THURTELL (GK), 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Daniel DE SILVA, 21.Scott JAMIESON, 22 Cameron EDWARDS 23.Michael THWAITE (C), 24.Matt Davies,

***two to be omitted***

Ins: 3.Brandon O’NEILL (promoted), 14.Chris HAROLD (promoted), 22 Cameron EDWARDS (promoted) 24.Matt Davies (promoted)

Outs: 15 Jamie MACALREN (international duty – 1 week),  17.Mitch NICHOLS (international duty – 1 week),

Unavailable: 4.Riley WOODCOCK (international duty – 1 week), 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH (Back – 1 week), 16.Sidnei SCIOLA (calf - 2 weeks), 30.Jack DUNCAN (gk) (international duty – 1 week)

Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 1.Ante COVIC (GK), 2.Shannon COLE, 3.Daniel MULLEN, 5.Brendan HAMILL, 6.Antony GOLEC, 7.Labinot HALITI, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Tomi JURIC, 10.Vitor SABA, 12.Nikita RUKAVYTSYA, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 17.Romeo CASTELEN, 18.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Dean BOUZANIS (GK), 22.Seyi ADELEKE, 23.Jason TRIFIRO, 31.Alusine FOFANAH

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 2.Shannon COLE (promoted), 6.Antony GOLEC (promoted), 8.Mateo POLJAK (promoted), 10.Vitor SABA (returns from suspension), 19.Mark BRIDGE (promoted),

Outs: 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (international duty), 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO (not selected) , 33.Daniel ALESSI (not selected)

Unavailable: 11.Brendon SANTALAB (shoulder – indefinite), 34.Golgol MUBRAHTU (knee – indefinite)

PREVIEW

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

It’s first versus last on the Hyundai A-League table as Tony Popovic’s AFC Champions League-conquering side finds themselves in an unusual position propping up the competition.

The Wanderers desperately need points, though, before their season is further disrupted by the FIFA Club World Cup in Morocco next month. 

Glory have been impressive so far this term, winning four league matches before clinically defeating Bentleigh Greens to make the Westfield FFA Cup Final. But in their one Hyundai A-League clash against a fit-and-firing team in Adelaide United, they were taken apart by the Reds.

Glory haven’t played in-form sides like Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC in the Hyundai A-League yet either, so their position atop the table may still be a little shaky and the Wanderers should test them.

You could excuse both sides for being exhausted. In two weeks, Western Sydney have travelled from Saudi Arabia to New Zealand and then on to Perth, surely the most gruelling set of road trips any club side has undertaken.

Glory haven’t done it easy either, having just 48 hours to recover from their win over Mariners before facing Bentleigh. But any weariness is sure to go out the door, especially as two players face their ex-clubs, with Youssouf Hersi lining up against Wanderers while former Perth hero Nikita Rukavytsya is sure to get a warm welcome at nib Stadium after turning down a return to Western Australia.

OPTA DATA STATS

Glory have a dismal scoring record against Western Sydney. In six matches so far, Perth have only managed two goals. As a result, they’ve lost five of these matches, their best result being a 1-1 draw in December 2012, one fortuitously achieved off the back of an 87th-minute Nick Ward equaliser.

A key focus for Tony Popovic at training this week will have been passing accuracy. The Wanderers have the worst passing accuracy of any side with 72.7% of passes completed in comparison to a league average 78.45.

Where Western Sydney seem to be going wrong, however, is in their long passing. They have an accuracy rating of just 34.6%, a long way off the league average of 48.9.

But while Wanderers have been poor with the long ball, Glory have excelled with an accuracy rating of 58.1%.\

ROUTE TO GOAL

Expect there to be plenty of action down Perth’s left flank as Hersi gets busy against his old club, cutting the ball back to the likes of Irish international Andy Keogh to find the back of the net.

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Nebojsa Marinkovic has been Perth’s man of the moment with his sumptuous free-kicks over the last week.

The Serbian midfielder delivered with an exceptional strike to give Perth their first regular season win away to Central Coast last week before following that up with two goals against Bentleigh Greens.

The first one was another cracking free-kick that Mark Bosnich declared no international goalkeeper would have kept out.