Preview: Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory

Saturday August 14, 7:30pm AEST

Date: Saturday August 14
Kick-off: 7:30pm AEST
Venue: AAMI Park

Played 15: Wins: Melbourne Victory 6, Perth Glory 5, Draws 4

Previous Meeting
Melbourne Victory 6, Perth Glory 2, Etihad Stadium, January 2010

The Victory have dominated the past two encounters between these two teams, winning 6-2 at Etihad Stadium in January after a breakthrough 2-1 success in Perth in November. Prior to that Perth had won the previous three, all at nib Stadium. Melbourne have never lost to Perth in seven previous matches at home, winning four and drawing three including Melbourne’s first ever home game back in 2005, which ended 2-2.

Season so far:
Melbourne Victory
R1: Sydney FC 3, Melbourne Victory 3, SFS

Perth Glory:
R1: Perth Glory 3, North Queensland 3, nib Stadium,

Pre-season form:
Melbourne Victory:
July 25: Central Coast Mariners 0, Melbourne Victory 0, Aurora Stadium, Launceston
July 20: Melbourne Victory 2, Dandenong Thunder 1, Olympic Park
July 16: Melbourne Victory 0, Boca Juniors 1, Etihad Stadium
July 6: Melbourne Victory 2, Bentleigh Greens 1, Olympic Park

Perth Glory
July 28: WA State Team 1, Perth Glory 3 – Litis Stadium
July 23: Adelaide United 1, Perth Glory 3 – Hindmarsh Stadium
July 18: Armadale SC 1, Perth Glory 2 – Alfred Skeet Reserve
July 15: Rockingham City 0, Perth Glory 8 – Lark Hill Sportsplex
June 19: Perth Glory 3, Gold Coast United 1 – Boomerang Oval, Newman

Match Committee
Melbourne are unlikely to make too many changes for this match with Robbie Kruse still sidelined with a hamstring injury. Matthew Foschini and Diogo Ferriera come into an extended squad, but are unlikely to push any of last week’s squad out. Billy Celeski should play a greater role having scored on his return from a knee injury.

Perth could be boosted by the belated arrival of Josh Mitchell and Michael Baird, who look to have got their clearances sorted out through FIFA. They come into an extended squad with no changes needed for David Mitchell. Andy Todd, Victor Sikora and Tommy Amphlett remain sidelined, while Chris Coyne is still on loan.

Danger men
Mate Dugandzic – The 20-year-old burst onto the scene midway through last season and then disappeared from sight at the business end. The attacking midfielder/striker describes himself as a more mature man this season and judging on his strong second half against Sydney last week, when he set-up one goal and scored another, Melbourne fans could be set for plenty of excitement with him this season.

Scott Neville – In a team containing so many big names, it would be easy to overlook the efforts of Scott Neville last week. The 21-year-old has developed at a spectacular rate over the past two seasons and after scoring a great goal last week and narrowly missing another will have soaring confidence.

Where the game will be won
Both teams played in quite bizarre games last week, featuring 3-3 scorelines. That tells us that while they were able to take advantage of loose defending from their opponents they would not have been pleased with what happened up the other end.

However, while Melbourne would have been pleased enough with a 3-3 draw away against last year’s champions, especially considering they came from 2-0 down, Perth would have felt that they let one slip against a team most expect to struggle this season.

While the names of Thompson and Kruse will be missing from Melbourne’s teamsheet, Victory showed last week that they have able substitutes, especially Dugandzic, who starred. Carlos Hernandez scored twice against the Glory last season and after 13 goals last year will be looking to get on the board.

For Perth, things still haven’t quite jelled in their star-studded attack despite those goals last week, while major work needs to be done in defence.

Expect Melbourne to try and dominate this game, their first official fixture at their new home, AAMI Park.

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Michael PETKOVIC (gk), 2.Kevin MUSCAT (c), 3.Mate DUGANDZIC, 5. Surat SUKHA, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 8.Grant BREBNER, 11.Marvin ANGULO, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 13.Diogo FERREIRA, 14.Billy CELESKI, 15.Tom PONDELJAK, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ, 17.Matthew FOSCHINI, 19.Evan BERGER, 20.Sebastian MATTEI (gk), 22.Nick WARD, 23.Adrian LEIJER.
*two to be omitted*

In: 17.Matthew FOSCHINI (promoted), 13.Diogo FERREIRA (promoted)
Out: Robbie KRUSE – hamstring
Unavailable: Archie THOMPSON (knee – indefinite), Matthew KEMP (knee – indefinite), Robbie KRUSE (hamstring).

Perth Glory squad: 1. Tando VELAPHI, 2. Josh MITCHELL, 3. Jamie COYNE, 5. Jamie HARNWELL, 7. Jacob BURNS (c), 9.Robbie FOWLER, 10. Michael BAIRD, 11. Branko JELIC, 12. Scott NEVILLE, 14. Steven McGARRY, 16. Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17. Todd HOWARTH, 19. Naum SEKULOVSKI, 20. Aleks VRTESKI, 21. Mile STERJOVSKI, 22. Anthony SKORICH, 23. ANDRIJA JUKIC.
*two to be omitted*
**MITCHELL and BAIRD subject to international clearance

In: 2. Josh MITCHELL (awaiting clearance), 10. Michael BAIRD (awaiting clearance)
Out: Nil
Unavailable: Andy TODD (knee- 2 weeks), Victor SIKORA (hip – 2 weeks), Tommy AMPHLETT (groin – 2 weeks), Chris COYNE (on loan – 8 weeks)