The Lowdown: A-League – Perth Glory v Sydney FC

Perth Glory v Sydney FC, NIB Stadium, Perth
Shanghai night field

Kick-off: 6.30pm (local) (9.30pm AEDT)

Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones

TV broadcast: Fox Sports 4

Twitter: #PERvSYD

Odds: Perth Glory $2, Draw $3.50, Sydney FC $3.65 (Sportsbet上海龙凤419m.au)

LIKELY TEAMS

Perth Glory (4-2-3-1): Vukovic; Jamieson, Djulbic, Thwaite, Risdon; Zadkovich, O’Neill; Sidnei, Marinkovic, Garcia; Keogh.

Sydney FC (4-2-3-1): Janjetovic; Gersbach, Petkovic, Faty, Grant; Dimitrijevic, Tavares; Naumoff, Brosque, Ibini; Janko.

HEAD-TO-HEAD

Played 28; Perth 7, Draw, 8, Sydney 13

FIVE TO WATCH

1. Bernie Ibini (Sydney FC)

Has just started to ignite in recent weeks and if there’s somebody with the pace and energy to unlock Perth’s excellent back four, it’s Ibini. He can get in behind and cause problems down the right, as Scott Jamieson will no doubt find out.

2. Ruben Zadkovich (Perth Glory)

Archie Thompson aside, is there a player in the A-League anywhere who so actively looks in the fixture list for the next time Sydney FC comes to town? Zadkovich just despises his old club – for reasons only he knows – but he needs to keep that discipline in check here, especially without the suspended Rostyn Griffiths.

3. Mickael Tavares (Sydney FC)

Having recently played in English Premier League, Tavares brings instant class to a Sydney team that needs real presence in central midfield. It’s still unsure if he’ll start here now that Terry Antonis is back but on the evidence of his debut showing, and strong training since, why change?

4. Richard Garcia (Perth Glory)

Enjoying an Indian summer in his home town, Garcia looked all but finished when he left Sydney last season. His game has slowed but he’s now using wisdom to get the most from his talents and those around him. Could even play defensive midfield.

5. Marc Janko (Sydney FC)

Simply must keep putting the goals away from here, not only if Sydney are to make the finals but if he wants a new contract. Showed against Central Coast that his eye for a finish hasn’t deserted him over the break and he’ll look to make it into double figures before the season is out.

THE KEY MATCH-UP

Andy Keogh (Perth Glory) v Nikola Petkovic (Sydney FC)

Keogh must be wondering why it took him so long to get to the A-League – he’s loving life out here and it’s not beyond the realm to say he’s putting himself into the frame for a national team recall with the Republic of Ireland. Nikola Petkovic, combined with Jacques Faty, will be following him everywhere.

IN THE DUGOUT

Kenny Lowe (Perth Glory)

Likes to talk himself down – and loves the idea that the eastern seaboard doesn’t take him seriously. We’ve been doing that for a while now but he’s using the imagined disrespect as fuel to push this team all the way. Whatever he’s doing, it’s certainly working.

Graham Arnold (Sydney FC)

The momentum from the thumping 5-1 win over the Mariners, combined with the Asian Cup break, seems to have put some distance between the Sky Blues and their bad festive results. Perth have some key injuries and Arnold knows it’s a perfect time for an upset win.  

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