A-League preview: Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory
Perth Glory will take comfort in their superb record over Melbourne Victory at home, with points crucial for both sides - if for vastly different reasons
Risdon, Pantelidis, V. d. Brink, Jamieson
Dodd, Miller, Burns, HeffernanSmeltz, McGarry
Ferreira, Ansell, Leijer, Traore
Dilevski, Milligan, Broxham
Rojas, Flores, Thompson
Postecoglou's team dominated the Mariners in the first half and passed up a host of goal-scoring opportunities - including a penalty attempt from Marco Rojas - before Marcos Flores gave Victory a 1-0 lead just before half-time.
Central Coast salvaged a point in the second half thanks to Daniel McBreen's spot kick and third-placed Melbourne cannot afford to throw away wins like that as they strive to keep pressure on the teams above them.
The visitors have included Matthew Foschini, Theo Markelis, Jimmy Jeggo and Luke O'Dea in an extended squad for their trip, with in-form Billy Celeski missing through suspension and Nick Ansell out through injury. Jonathan Bru, Jeggo and Leigh Broxham are among the favourites to replace Celeski, while the latter or Mark Milligan could also be drafted into defence.
The score line in Perth Glory's 3-2 loss away to Adelaide United may have flattered Ian Ferguson's men, as they scored twice in the final few minutes.
But having had a makeshift defence in Adelaide, coach Ian Ferguson will have Josh Risdon back for Victory's visit, though Michael Thwaite continues to miss through injury.
Perth's nib Stadium has not been a happy hunting ground for Melbourne Victory throughout the history of the A-League.
In 11 trips to Western Australia, Victory have only managed two wins and one draw.
Can Postecoglou find the antidote to Victory's dismal record in Perth?
After last week's disappointing draw against Central Coast, Postecoglou will be keen for his team to capitalise on all opportunities and claim maximum points to try and overhaul Adelaide United and the Mariners before the finals.
Saturday's game will be a big test of whether Victory can become clinical enough to win silverware this season.
But Perth's main man up front, Shane Smeltz, has scored three goals in Glory's past two matches, which will ensure a tough night at the office for Victory's captain Adrian Leijer and his defensive unit.
And with the Glory knowing every home game - and point - is crucial in the race for a finals spot, Victory should expect another testing trip west.
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Top 3 Predictions
Perth Glory 0-2 Melbourne Victory
- 25 %
Perth Glory 2-1 Melbourne Victory
- 25 %
Perth Glory 4-2 Melbourne Victory
- 12.5 %
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||05/04/2013||Melbourne Victory 2 - Perth Glory 1|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||23/03/2013||Melbourne Victory 2 - Perth Glory 3|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||19/01/2013||Perth Glory 0 - Melbourne Victory 1|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||30/11/2012||Melbourne Victory 1 - Perth Glory 0|
|Australia - A-League (AUS1)||24/03/2012||Perth Glory 4 - Melbourne Victory 2|
|06/12/2013||Perth Glory 4 - Wellington Phoenix 2||AUS1|
|30/11/2013||Brisbane Roar 1 - Perth Glory 0||AUS1|
|23/11/2013||Perth Glory 1 - Central Coast Mariners 2||AUS1|
|16/11/2013||Perth Glory 1 - Adelaide United 1||AUS1|
|09/11/2013||Wellington Phoenix 1 - Perth Glory 1||AUS1|
|-||Bas Van den Brink||Defender|
|-||Mark Daniel Milligan||Defender|
Live Final scheduled Suspended Cancelled Postponed