Preview: Sydney FC v Perth Glory

Sydney’s 3-2 win over Central Coast demonstrated the determination John Kosmina’s team has to live up to the high rating given to it pre-season.

Date: Sunday August 31
Kick-off: 3:00pm AEST
Venue: Sydney Football Stadium
TV and Radio: Live & exclusive broadcast on Fox Sports 3 and Sky Sports 1. Hyundai A-League club radio broadcast partner is 6PR (Perth).

Nine A-League meetings: Sydney – 3 wins, Perth – 1 win Draws – 5

Previous meeting
Sydney FC 2, Perth Glory 4, SFS, Round 17, December 2007

Results so far
Sydney FC:
Round 1: Sydney FC 0, Melbourne Victory 0, Sydney Football Stadium
Round 2: Central Coast Mariners 2, Sydney FC 3, Bluetongue Central Coast Stadium

Round 1: Adelaide United 1, Perth Glory 0, Hindmarsh Stadium
Round 2: Perth Glory 3, Newcastle Jets 3, Members Equity Stadium

Sydney’s 3-2 win over Central Coast demonstrated the determination John Kosmina’s team has to live up to the high rating given to it pre-season. To be a man down for much of the final 30 minutes and conjure a winner was a fantastic result and there must be plenty of confidence among the Sky Blues’ players right now.

Perhaps the most pleasing aspect is that it isn’t the big-name off-season recruits which have been powering FC’s early charge, it has been a superb combination of young and old. Steve Corica is enhancing his reputation as the grand old man of the A-League, netting twice last week while Shannon Cole is establishing a reputation as one of the best dead-ball men in the competition.

The 24-year-old struck the post with a free kick against Melbourne and then went one better against the Mariners, beating Danny Vukovic deflecting off the inside of the upright and in. The celebration from the former NSW Premier League striker topped off the effort as he launched into an Obafemi Martins-like succession of flips.

Perth appeared destined for a similar win against Newcastle before Jade North equalised in the fifth minute of added time in a six-goal thriller at Members Equity. The Glory, who lost their opening match against Adelaide, twice came from behind in that match and got goals from their three main attacking weapons, Eugene Dadi, Adrian Trinidad and Nikita Rukavystya.

Despite their courage in that match, Dave Mitchell admitted his players were gutted to have given up two points late and it will be interesting to see how they rebound against a side they have only beaten once before.

Stuart Musialik, the man who was sent off against the Mariners, has a week to consider his actions. Mitch Prentice comes in to replace him. Sydney is still without John Aloisi, who is another week away, as are Adam Biddle, Adam Casey and skipper Tony Popovic. Brendon Santalab (quad) is two weeks away, while Mike Enfield faces at least another six weeks before he returns from his knee injury. Nik Tsattalios is still resting.

Jamie Harnwell’s interrupted start to the season continues and he is out with a hip injury. James Downey and Anthony Skorich come in to a 16-man squad. Given that all clubs have a break after this week, it is expected James Robinson, David Tarka, Hayden Foxe and Naum Sekulovski will all be available in the next match. Josip Magdic’s ankle is still being assessed.

Sydney FC Squad: 1.Clint BOLTON (gk), 2.Iain FYFE, 4.Simon COLOSIMO, 5.Mitchell PRENTICE, 7.Robbie MIDDLEBY, 10.Steve CORICA, 12.Shannon COLE, 14.Alex BROSQUE, 15.Terry MCFLYNN, 16. Chris PAYNE, 17.Jacob TIMPANO, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI, 25. Robert MILESKI, 26. Dez GIRALDI.

In. Mitchell Prentice (return suspension).

Out. Stuart Musialik (suspended – 1 week).

Unavailable. John Aloisi (foot – 1 week), Adam Biddle (ankle – 1 week), Adam Casey (groin – 1 week), Mike Enfield (knee – 6 weeks), Tony Popovic (hamstring – 1 week), Brendon Santalab (quadriceps – 2 weeks), Nik Tsattalios (rested).

Perth Glory Squad: 1.Jason PETKOVIC (gk), 2.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 4.Jamie COYNE (c), 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Nick RIZZO, 9.Adrian TRINIDAD, 10.AMARAL, 11.Scott BULLOCH, 13.Nikita RUKAVYTSYA, 14.Eugene DADI, 15.Hayden DOYLE, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17.James DOWNEY, 20.Frank JURIC (gk), 21.Mark LEE, 24.Anthony SKORICH.
*One to be omitted.

In. 17.James DOWNEY (promoted), 24.Anthony SKORICH (promoted from Youth Team)

Out. 5.Jamie HARNWELL (hip – 2 weeks).

Unavailable. James ROBINSON (stomach – 1 week), Josip MAGDIC (ankle – TBA), Hayden FOXE (foot – 1 week), Naum SEKULOVSKI (hamstring – 1 week), David TARKA (quad – 1 week).