Aaron Mooy’s Melbourne City can just about touch the Premiers’ Plate with victory in Perth, but an in-form Glory side is fully capable of sounding a Finals Series warning. Seasons are set to be defined with a shootout in the West.
Sunday, 3 April 2016
Perth Glory v Melbourne City FC
nib Stadium, Perth
Kick-Off: 5:00 PM (Local) (7:00 PM AEST)
Referee: Shaun Evans
Assistant Referee 1: Josh Mannella
Assistant Referee 2: Wilson Brown
Fourth Official: Adam Fielding
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 720 ABC Perth, ABC Local Radio WA, Grandstand Digital*, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live.
*After NRL/AFL coverage
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #PERvMCY
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets
Perth Glory squad: 1.Ante COVIC (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Marc WARREN, 4.Shane LOWRY, 7.Gyorgy SANDOR, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 12.Jerrad TYSON (gk), 13.Diogo FERREIRA, 14.Chris HAROLD, 17.Diego CASTRO, 18.Mitch OXBORROW, 19.Josh RISDON, 21.Kosta PETRATOS, 23.Krisztian VADOCZ, 24.Jamal REINERS, 29.Aryn WILLIAMS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 13.Diogo FERREIRA (promoted), 19.Josh RISDON (returns from international duty), 21.Kosta PETRATOS (promoted)
Outs: 6.Dino DJULBIC (suspended – one match)
Unavailable: 8.Ruben ZADKOVICH (knee – indefinite)
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (gk), 2.Alex WILKINSON, 4.Connor CHAPMAN, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 8.Aaron MOOY, 9.Harry NOVILLO, 11.Michael ZULLO, 18.Paulo RETRE, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 22.Jack CLISBY, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI, 24.Patrick KISNORBO, 25.Jacob MELLING, 26.Marc MARINO, 27.Nick FITZGERALD, 29.Anthony CACERES, 33.Osama MALIK
**two players to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Alex WILKINSON (return from international duty), 8.Aaron MOOY (return from international duty)
Unavailable: 7.Corey GAMEIRO (knee – season), 17.Wade DEKKER (ankle – season)
Perth Glory are prospering – a notion that seemed utterly remote at full-time of their 5-1 thumping by Melbourne City in November.
Kenny Lowe’s January recruitment drive has proven to be a masterstroke as the returning Andy Keogh, rugged Australian defender Shane Lowry and influential Hungarian midfielder Krisztián Vadócz have sparked a stunning revival.
Last round’s hard-earned 2-1 win away to Newcastle capped a four-match winning run in which Glory have scored 10, conceded two and climbed to fifth.
They won’t win the premiership, but breaking into the top four remains a distinct possibility if they can carry a result into next weekend’s trip to Sydney FC.
Melbourne City know six more points will seal a first Premiers’ Plate and will be set on nixing the momentum of a potential Finals Series threat in Perth.
Mastermind midfielder Aaron Mooy and experienced rock Alex Wilkinson return from Caltex Socceroos duty to boost a side which had no troubles dispatching Wellington Phoenix on Monday night.
Three clean sheets across their past three matches will instil City with as much confidence as the scintillating touch of their attacking stars.
This one is all set to be the game of the season between two sides with identical form lines (see below).
– Brisbane Roar has won 10 and drawn two of their 13 matches at home so far this Hyundai A-League campaign, though no team has beaten them more on home soil than Newcastle Jets (9 occasions).
– Newcastle Jets have scored only three goals in their last five Hyundai A-League matches and are without a win in their last four.
– No team have won more points from losing positions than Brisbane Roar in the Hyundai A-League this season (14) – level with Perth Glory.
– Five of the Jets’ 23 goals this season have come from the penalty spot (22%) – a Hyundai A-League high proportion.
ROUTE TO GOAL
Wellington Phoenix failed to stop Bruno Fornaroli and Harry Novillo even without Aaron Mooy’s silver service.
While Mooy was away winning the praise of everyone in Caltex Socceroos camp, Fornaroli (22) and Novillo (10) added to their season tallies by combining for three goals in Monday night’s victory.
The opener was an especially delightful combination between the two foreign stars as the league’s leading scorer turned provider.
Key to keeping that pair from further profiting on Mooy’s return will be Glory defensive duo Shane Lowry and Alex Grant.
Together they have laid the platform for a far more stable Perth to ascend into a genuinely promising position, albeit fuelled at the other end by their own attacking riches.
Andy Keogh has spearheaded his side’s recent charge and, with another on Sunday, can become the first player in Australian national league history to score in eight straight matches.
If Patrick Kisnorbo and Alex Wilkinson can shackle the Irishman, fellow forwards Diego Castro and Chris Harold can be relied upon to step up and add to their outstanding seasons.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Aaron Mooy. Already a leading contender for the Johnny Warren Medal, the man Ange Postecoglou rates as the Hyundai A-League’s best confirmed his international quality in midweek with two starring performances for the Caltex Socceroos.
Perth Glory: LWWWW
Melbourne City: LWWWW
Perth Glory 2-3 Melbourne City