Preview: Sydney FC v Perth Glory

A few weeks ago you would have safely tipped Sydney, especially with so much riding on the result.

Date: Saturday 2 March, 2013 Kick-off: 10.00pm AEDT, 7.00pm local Venue: nib Stadium

Head-to-head Played: 23 Wins: Perth 4, Sydney 11, Draws: 8

Previous encounter Perth 2, Sydney 2, 5 January 2013

Form: Past five matches: Perth: LWLLL Sydney: LWWDL

The Game Perth were unlucky not to have at least salvaged a point against the Wanderers last start, sunk by a deflected Aaron Mooy goal just before the hour mark.

They have responded well to Alistair Edwards's coaching and at least are presenting a united and committed front. They are unlikely to make the finals but they can make life uncomfortable for those hoping to get there.

Sydney fall into that category and will really drop off the top six push if they don't return east with at least a point. Perth's overall record against the Sky Blues makes for dismal reading.

Sydney were dragged back into a top six logjam after falling to Melbourne Heart. They have no elbow room, resting alongside the Heart on 27 points, two clear of the Roar but three behind fifth-placed Newcastle. This has long been circled as a must-win match but they catch a different Perth side to the one going through the motions just a fortnight ago.

The Big Issue Perth Glory: The players appear to be playing for caretaker boss Edwards at the moment but it's hard to sustain that sort of passion when the season is gone. Edwards's challenge is to ensure his team maintains intensity right until the final whistle of the final game.

Sydney FC: How much do Frank Farina's men want to be part of the finals series? Given their insipid display against Heart, the answer would appear not much. To be fair, Sydney's form heading into the game was good and they can be forgiven an off day, but Farina won't tolerate a repeat

Gamebreaker Shane Smeltz: After struggling for most of the season, there are signs Glory's restructured midfield agrees with the Kiwi. He looked a lot more comfortable against the Wanderers and may make the other Sydney side pay if adequate service is provided.

Prediction: Perth 1-1 Sydney A few weeks ago you would have safely tipped Sydney, especially with so much riding on the result. The Sky Blues still deserve favouritism but Glory are in party spoiling mode and are more than capable of stealing a point - or all three.

Perth will continue with the patient, slow build-up football that worked so well against the Mariners two weeks ago. Sydney won't park the bus as they need maximum return from the journey west. A draw is the safest bet.