Preview: Perth v Sydney
There's a whole plethora of subplots surrounding this clash but at the end of the day, there's three very vital points up for grabs as well.
Date: Sunday November 22 Kick-off: 4:00pm AWST, 7:00pm AEDT 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 12 Hyundai A-League meetings: Perth - 3 wins, Sydney - 4 wins, Draws - 5.
Previous Meeting Sydney FC 1, Perth Glory 4, Sydney Football Stadium, Round 16 2008-09, December 2009
Last five rounds: Perth Glory: Round 10: Perth Glory 1, Adelaide United 0, ME Bank Stadium Round 11: Gold Coast United 2, Perth Glory 1, Skilled Park 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
Sydney FC: Round 10: Melbourne Victory 0, Sydney FC 3, Etihad Stadium Round 11: Adelaide United 2, Sydney FC 1, Hindmarsh Stadium Round 12: Sydney FC 2, Brisbane Roar 1, Sydney Football Stadium Round 13: Sydney FC 3, Wellington Phoenix 1, Sydney Football Stadium Round 14: Gold Coast United 1, Sydney FC 0, Skilled Park
Analysis: There's a whole plethora of subplots surrounding this clash, like the Glory looking to make a statement against Sydney, Simon Colosimo's return to Perth and a certain Sky Blue striker trying to make amends for last year. But at the end of the day, there's three very vital points up for grabs as well.
In a quirk of the fixture, this clash at ME Bank Stadium is the first time these two sides have met this season, despite it being Round 15. It promises to be a bumper clash as well for both sides will want to gain a psychological edge over their opponent as they face each other on three occasions in the season's second half. Both Perth and Sydney are also looking to return to winning ways, with the Glory aiming for their first win in five matches since beating Adelaide in Round 10. Perth endured three consecutive 2-1 losses after that before earning a hard-fought 1-1 draw with Wellington last round, and a win is vitally important to ensure it doesn't slip out of the top six. Sydney, despite sitting in top position on the table, is also coming off a loss, having been beaten 1-0 by the Gold Coast just before the FIFA break.
Heading into the middle section of the season, wins are at an absolute premium with the table so congested. Indeed, just eight points separates Sydney at the top and Adelaide in seventh, making this clash particularly vital for both sides as they look to consolidate their position in the top half of the competition. With so much up for grabs, the psychological battle began in earnest this week, Sydney coach Vitezslav Lavkicka attacking the Glory for the club's physical approach. Perth responded in kind, defender Jamie Coyne firing off a semi-serious barb at former Glory skipper Colosimo, who's certain to receive a hostile reception from fans as he returns to Perth for the first time since leaving the club acrimoniously at the end of 2007-08.
Jamie Coyne is also Perth's only inclusion for this match, taking the place of the suspended Wayne Srhoj in the squad. Coyne, last year's captain, could also take Srhoj's position in central midfield alongside Jacob Burns but coach Dave Mitchell said he's weighing up several options for this position. Victor Sikora hasn't been named in the Glory's squad but may be a surprise inclusion after training strongly on Friday, showing he's well over a slight hamstring tear. Sydney also enters the game, slightly weakened, having lost veteran skipper Steve Corica to a hamstring injury. Corica's absence may be a big blow for the Sky Blues, as they've looked a very well-balanced team with him in the starting XI, but Lavicka has been able to bring Matthew Jurman and Adam Casey into the side and may contemplate starting John Aloisi on the field. However long Aloisi plays, the striker will be determined to score and make amends for that game against Perth last December where he endured one of his worst-ever days at the SFS.
Mitchell is particularly wary of Sydney's strength on the counter, while Alex Brosque's pace and ability could really worry the right side of the Perth defence. The Glory have a tendency to lose concentration and are subsequently exposed by opposition teams, leading to the club dropping many points this season when in winning positions. But, there's enough quality in the Perth line-up to cause Sydney some real problems as well and a well-rested Glory side firing on all cylinders is a match for any side in the league.
Perth Glory Squad: 1. Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3. Jamie COYNE, 4. Andy TODD, 6. Chris COYNE, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 11. Branko JELIC, 12. Scott NEVILLE, 13. Scott BULLOCH, 14. Eugene DADI, 16. Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17. Todd HOWARTH, 19. Naum SEKULOVSKI, 20. Aleks VRTESKI (gk), 21. Mile STERJOVSKI, 23. Andrija JUKIC
In: Jamie COYNE (returns from injury)
Out: Wayne SRHOJ (suspended - 1 week)
Unavailable: Jimmy DOWNEY (knee - 2 week), Brent GRIFFITHS (hamstring - 3 weeks), Jamie HARNWELL (knee - 1 week), Victor SIKORA (hamstring - 1 week), Anthony SKORICH (foot - 6 weeks)
Sydney FC squad: 1. Clint BOLTON (gk), 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3.Stephan KELLER, 4. Simon COLOSIMO, 6. Karol KISEL, 7 Brendan GAN, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 9. John ALOISI (c), 12. Shannon COLE, 14. Alex BROSQUE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN, 17. Matthew JURMAN, 18.Adam CASEY, 19. Mark BRIDGE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 22. Sung Hwan BYUN
*one to be omitted*
In: Matthew JURMAN (promoted), Adam CASEY (promoted)
Out: Steve CORICA (hamstring - 1 week)
Unavailable: Kofi DANNING (broken hand - 4 weeks), Rhyan GRANT (rested after International duty)