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Nov 11, 2010   |  12:56AM AET

Preview: Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory

Preview: Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory

It’s all about the location for Victory, who have never relished the trip across the Nullarbor, having suffered five defeats against the Glory in Perth in eight trips west. Conversely, Perth had never won in Melbourne until they upset Victory 2-0 in August.

Date: Sunday November 14
Kick-off: 7:00pm AEDT, (4:00pm AWST)
Venue: nib Stadium
Television: Live and exclusive on Fox Sports 1 from 4:00pm local (7:00pm AEDT).
Match Centre: www.melbournevictory.com.au

Head-to-head
Played 16: Wins: Melbourne Victory 6, Perth Glory 6, Draws 4

Previous Meeting
Melbourne Victory 0, Perth Glory 2, AAMI Park, August 2010

Why we don’t like ’em
It’s all about the location for Victory, who have never relished the trip across the Nullarbor, having suffered five defeats against the Glory in Perth in eight trips west. Conversely, Perth had never won in Melbourne until they upset Victory 2-0 in August. Melbourne midfielder Billy Celeski used to play for the Glory.

Past five matches:
Perth Glory:
R12: (mw) Adelaide United 2 Perth Glory 0, Hindmarsh Stadium
R12: Perth Glory 0, Wellington Phoenix 1, nib Stadium
R11 (mw): Perth Glory 0, Melbourne Heart 0, nib Stadium
R11: Central Coast 5, Perth Glory 0, Bluetongue Stadium
R10: Perth Glory 0, Sydney FC 3, nib Stadium

Melbourne Victory:
R13: Melbourne Victory 0, Gold Coast United 1, Etihad Stadium
R12: Melbourne Victory 2, Adelaide United 1, Etihad Stadium
R11: Brisbane Roar 2, Melbourne Victory 1, Suncorp Stadium
R10: Melbourne Victory 3, Sydney FC 0, Etihad Stadium
R9: Melbourne Heart 2, Melbourne Victory 1, AAMI Park

Decisions for Ernie
With strikers Robbie Kruse and Ricardinho both out injured, coach Ernie Merrick has a tough choice whether to risk starting Archie Thompson just two matches into his return from a knee reconstruction. Diogo Ferreira is also injured while Matthew Kemp is nearing a return after playing a comeback match in the NYL last week.

Behind Enemy Lines
Perth lose Naum Sekulovski for this one through suspension, while Chris Coyne and Victor Sikora are still some distance from returning. Skipper Jacob Burns is back after serving a one-match ban, while former Socceroo Mile Sterjovksi also returns. Josh Mitchell and Ryan Person are the others into an extended squad.

Our Hero
Archie Thompson – Don’t want to put too much pressure on the great man so soon after his comeback, but with Kruse and Ricardinho out, Archie needs to find his form and quick. He looked good in patches on his return last week and will be Victory’s main attacking weapon should he start.

The Danger man
Perth may be woefully out of form, but the presence of Robbie Fowler in any team is enough to keep any opposition on guard. He may have netted just two goals in 13 appearances, but it seems only a matter of time before the goal-scoring machine finds the target again.

Why we will win
As mentioned, Perth hasn’t been a happy hunting ground for Victory, but the boys did manage to get all three points on their one trip there last year, thanks to a late goal from Carlos Hernandez. While the injuries to the two main strikers of this season have left the visitors a little short of firepower, there is plenty of depth there to cover, with Thompson, Mate Dugandzic, Tom Pondeljak and even Hernandez capable of filling the void.

Last week’s home loss to Gold Coast was a setback, but Victory would have felt the luck didn’t go their way, in particular with the own goal. It is not like this side to be too caught up with one flat performance and you can expect a more energetic and dynamic performance this time around.

Perth on the other hand, are flat as a pancake. Nothing seems to be going right for the Glory, who made a promising start to the season and looked a serious contender when they defeated Victory. Ten matches since without a win has seen them slump to eighth and while they are not out of contention, they will need to turn things around quickly. They haven’t managed a goal in 450 miserable minutes of football for Glory fans and have been outscored 20-2 since early September.

Their frustration was evident with seven bookings and a red card against Adelaide on Wednesday and there would have never been a better chance for Melbourne to get things back on track with a win here.

Perth Glory squad: 1. Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Josh MITCHELL, 3. Jamie COYNE, 4. Andy TODD, 5.Jamie HARNWELL, 7.Jacob BURNS, 9.Robbie FOWLER, 10.Michael BAIRD, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 13.Tommy AMPHLETT, 14.Steven McGARRY, 15. Howard FONDYKE, 16. Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17. Todd HOWARTH, 18. Brent GRIFFTHS, 20. Aleks VRTESKI (gk), 21. Mile STERJOVSKI, 25. Ryan PEARSON
*three to be omitted*
In: Josh MITCHELL (promoted), Jacob BURNS (back from suspension), Mile STERJOVSKI (returns from injury), Ryan PEARSON (promoted)
Out: Naum SEKULOVSKI (suspended – 1 game)
Unavailable: 6. Chris COYNE (on loan -4 weeks), 8. Victor SIKORA (Hip – 2 weeks)

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Michael PETKOVIC (gk), 2. Kevin MUSCAT (c), 3. Mate DUGANDZIC, 4. Petar FRANJIC, 5.Surat SUKHA, 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 8.Grant BREBNER, 10. Archie THOMPSON, 11.Marvin ANGULO, 12.Rodrigo VARGAS, 14. Billy CELESKI, 15.Tom PONDELJAK, 16.Carlos HERNANDEZ, 19. Evan BERGER, 20.Sebastian MATTEI (gk), 23. Adrian LEIJER, 27. Geoff KELLAWAY
*three to be omitted*

In: Petar FRANJIC (promoted), Marvin ANGULO (promoted)
Out: Ricardinho (knee – 3 weeks), Diogo FERREIRA (thigh strain) Robbie KRUSE (quad – 2 weeks)
Unavailable: Nil