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  • 5 April 2013
  • • 19:30
  • • Etihad Stadium, Melbourne
  • Referee: J. Gillett
  • • Attendance: 22902

A-League preview: Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory

A-League preview: Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory


Melbourne's Etihad Stadium hosts the first final of the 2012-13 A-League season, with Perth Glory arriving confident after winning in the Victorian capital just two weeks ago Indonesia   By GOAL AUSTRALIA


Geria, Mullen, Leijer, Galloway
Celeski, Milligan, Broxham
Rojas, Thompson, Pain

Risdon, Pantelidis, Thwaite, Jamieson
McGarry, Burns, Miller, Cordoba
Smeltz, Nagai

Ange Postecoglou will be confident that his Melbourne Victory side can dispose of Perth Glory to reach the semi-finals on Friday, as the first elimination final takes place at the Etihad Stadium.

After seeing Victory's form suffer over recent weeks, the 3-2 win against Wellington on Sunday will provide a welcome reprieve going into the finals, which will see them as slight favourites for the upcoming tie.

Marco Rojas and Archie Thompson marked their return to domestic action with a goal apiece against the Phoenix, with the duo likely to be pivotal to their finals campaign.

Perth, however, will be going into the tie with a stronger run of form, winning their last two away games and looking to extend that to three on Friday - a record the Glory have not yet achieved in their A-League history.

The Glory's last visit to Melbourne ended in a 3-2 victory for the away side in Week 26 at AAMI Park, but the return of players such as the clinical Rojas, Thompson and Mark Milligan will pose a tough task for a Perth side potentially missing the influential Travis Dodd.

Neither club has an impressive defensive record this season; Victory have only managed to maintain one clean sheet in their past 10 games, while Perth have not had achieved the feat in their past 15 matches.

Although Victory's much-admired attack will be a handful contain, their defence have been incredibly inconsistent throughout the course of the season, with another high-scoring game beckoning.

Perth possess threats of their own, with wingers Adrain Zahra and Ryo Nagai causing plenty of problems in their last few games.  But with such a shocking defensive record, it may not be enough to progress to the semis.

Victory will be deprived of a host of players, with Gui Finkler [knee], Nick Ansell [groin], Adama Traore [ankle] and Jesse Makarounas [hamstring] all missing.

New Zealand striker Shane Smeltz has been passed fit for the clash after recovering from a head injury, while former Manchester United and Sunderland midfielder Liam Miller returns from suspension.

Dodd [knee] and Chris Harold [calf] remain long-term injury casualties for the Glory.

The winners on Friday will come up against a formidable Central Coast Mariners side on April 14.

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Last Five Matches
Team News
Available Squads
-Nathan CoeGoalkeeper
23Adrian LeijerDefender
-Jason GareyDefender
-Scott GallowayDefender
16Daniel MullenDefender
-Mark Daniel MilliganDefender
6Leigh BroxhamMidfielder
21Marco RojasMidfielder
-Blagoja CeleskiMidfielder
10Archie ThompsonStriker
-Connor PainMidfielder
18Tando VelaphiGoalkeeper
5Spase DilevskiDefender
-Jonathan BruMidfielder
10Marcos FloresMidfielder
-Andrew NabboutMidfielder
1Danny VukovicGoalkeeper
4Steve PantelidisDefender
19Joshua RisdonDefender
14Scott JamiesonDefender
-Michael ThwaiteDefender
7Jacob BurnsMidfielder
33Liam MillerMidfielder
9Ryo NagaiStriker
-Matías Jesús CórdobaMidfielder
9Shane SmeltzStriker
-Adrian ZahraMidfielder
-Lewis ItalianoGoalkeeper
-Jack ClisbyDefender
16Dean HeffernanDefender
14Steven McGarryMidfielder
-Danny De SilvaMidfielder

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