Perth Glory must overcome some key absences if they are to secure a finals spot, while the visiting Reds are after much-needed form ahead of the post-season
|By GOAL AUSTRALIA
Risdon, Pantelidis, Heffernan, Jamieson
Zahra, Cordoba, Burns, WardMcGarry, Nagai
Watson, Boogaard, Fyfe, Cassio
Vidosic, McKain, CarruscaFerreira, Djite, Ramsay
A rejuvenated Perth Glory outfit will be gunning for all three points when they await the arrival of Adelaide United at nib Stadium on Saturday.
Glory's play-off hopes had seemingly gone up in smoke after a disastrous first half of the season, but an encouraging run of four wins in six under new manager Alistair Edwards has given them new impetus as they chase a top-six finish.
Edwards himself has been rewarded, with the former Glory striker being appointed as the club's full-time manager for the next three years.
Last Saturday's magnificent 3-2 away win over Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park ensured Glory remained in the hunt for the play-offs, with the Western Australian side occupying seventh spot in the league standings and having been done a favour by Sydney FC's loss to Brisbane on Thursday.
They are locked in a four-way battle for fifth and sixth place and simply have to collect three points against Adelaide to qualify for the play-offs.
A point may suffice, although Glory must hope that the Newcastle Jets lose at home to Western Sydney Wanderers.
However, Glory would have to embark on their play-off mission without Travis Dodd after the forward was ruled out for the rest of the season with a ruptured anterior cruciate ligament.
Dodd had been a driving force for Glory this campaign, having notched his fifth goal of the season against Victory.
New Zealand striker Shane Smeltz and Chris Harold, both suffering from facial and calf injuries respectively, have been ruled out and have made Edwards' forward options thin.
Former Manchester United midfielder Liam Miller will also be forced to watch from the stands due to suspension, leaving coach Edwards with a real selection headache.
Nevertheless, captain Jacob Burns will figure against Adelaide as he returns from suspension and defender Michael Thwaite looks poised to take his place at the back following his international commitments with Australia.
While Glory are peaking at the right moment, the same cannot be said for an out-of-form Adelaide side who are struggling to forge any momentum ahead of the finals.
Michael Valkanis' team have only claimed two wins in 10 matches but yet, they are sitting comfortably in fourth spot with 40 points.
Adelaide will be hoping that Marcelo Carrusca shakes off a groin injury that saw him sidelined during last Sunday's 2-0 home loss to the Central Coast Mariners.
Goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic returns from international duty with Australia, while the versatile Osama Malik has been drafted into the squad after battling an injury. Argentine playmaker Marcelo Carrusca also returns from injury and could be drafted straight into the XI.
Winger Iain Ramsey was a constant thorn for the Mariners last Saturday as his purposeful runs, crosses and pace down the left flank posed plenty of problems for the visitors.
He nearly netted against the Mariners but brilliant volley from outside the box caught the corner of the upright and cross bar.
Adelaide will need livewire Ramsey to be at his rampaging best should they aim to snap their unwanted three-game winless streak.