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  • 23 March 2013
  • • 17:30
  • • AAMI Park, Melbourne
  • Referee: P. O'Leary
  • • Attendance: 16839
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A-League preview: Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory

A-League preview: Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory

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An awful result at home to Wellington last Sunday left Perth's finals hopes in the lurch, but they face a tough test to get them back on track against Melbourne Victory

GOAL.com Indonesia   By GOAL AUSTRALIA

  PROBABLE LINEUP
MELBOURNE VICTORY

Coe
Galloway, Mullen, Leijer, Murnane
Celeski, Jeggo, Broxham
Stella, Flores, Pain
PERTH GLORY

Vukovic
Risdon, Pantelidis, Clisby, Jamieson
McGarry, Miller, Cordoba
Dodd, Harold, Nagai
Melbourne Victory host Perth Glory to AAMI Park on Saturday safe in the knowledge they will finish the season either in third or fourth place.

Sitting third in the league standings with 41 points, Ange Postecoglou's men are all but assured of a place in the play-offs and will host a home final in the first week of the post-season.

The same, however, cannot be said for a beleaguered Perth Glory outfit desperately trying to stay in the hunt for a top-six finish.

Their disastrous 2-1 home defeat to rock-bottom Wellington Phoenix FC last Sunday has severely dented their finals hopes, with Glory now languishing in eighth spot on 28 points.

The situation is much rosier for Victory as they are under no such pressure, although Postecoglou will be urging his side to regain some sort of rhythm and momentum ahead of the play-offs.

Victory have been held to away draws by Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC in their last two matches.

Their last encounter at AAMI Park culminated in a 5-0 walloping of Newcastle Jets on March 3 and their solid home form this campaign will men they are confident against the Glory.

However, Postecoglou's preparations for the clash have been severely impeded, with Archie Thompson and Mark Milligan being called up for international duty with Australia while Marco Rojas has also been drafted in for New Zealand.

But Victory will be bolstered by the return of captain Adrian Leijer [suspension] and playmaker Marcos Flores [injury].

Likewise, Postecoglou's counterpart Alistair Edwards has his own selection problems and will be deprived of prolific front-man Shane Smeltz following his All Whites call-up.

He has also been hit by a one-match suspension to captain Jacob Burns after the midfielder accrued one too many yellow cards, while first-choice defender Michael Thwaite is with the Socceroos.

The Glory coach faces a dilemma in midfield, however, with Travis Dodd, Ryo Nagai, Nick Ward and Chris Harold all pressing for a place in the first XI in what is virtually a do-or-die encounter for the Western Australians.

Last season's grand final runners-up will have to muster maximum points from their remaining clashes against Victory and Adelaide United in the final round to stand any chance of breaking into the play-offs.

However, their two clashes against Victory this season have ended in 1-0 defeats and Glory will be praying it will be third time luckier this time around.

Glory's cause will not be helped further by the fine form of Victory goalkeeper Nathan Coe.

The 28-year-old shot-stopper has hit a rich vein of form in recent matches, with his save from an Alessandro Del Piero penalty against Sydney FC just one of several first-class stops.

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Last Five Matches
Odds
Team News
Available Squads
-Nathan CoeGoalkeeper
23Adrian LeijerDefender
-Scott GallowayDefender
16Daniel MullenDefender
6Leigh BroxhamMidfielder
10Marcos FloresMidfielder
-Blagoja CeleskiMidfielder
-Jesse MakarounasMidfielder
-Dylan MurnaneMidfielder
-Andrew NabboutMidfielder
-Connor PainMidfielder
18Tando VelaphiGoalkeeper
5Spase DilevskiDefender
-Jason GareyDefender
-Christopher CHRISTALDOMidfielder
1Danny VukovicGoalkeeper
4Steve PantelidisDefender
16Dean HeffernanDefender
19Joshua RisdonDefender
14Scott JamiesonDefender
33Liam MillerMidfielder
9Ryo NagaiStriker
14Steven McGarryMidfielder
-Matías Jesús CórdobaMidfielder
13Travis DoddMidfielder
-Chris HaroldStriker
-Lewis ItalianoGoalkeeper
-Jack ClisbyDefender
22Nick WardMidfielder
-Adrian ZahraMidfielder

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