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Perth Glory - Western Sydney Wanderers Preview

Goal.com logo Goal.com 24-02-2017

Western Sydney Wanderers looked to be back on track after their drought-breaking derby win but can they bounce back from a midweek thrashing against a confident Perth Glory?

SQUADS

Perth Glory squad: 3.Marc WARREN, 4.Shane LOWRY 5.Rhys WILLIAMS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.Rostyn GRIFFITHS (c), 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebo MARINKOVIC, 13.Nick FEELY (gk), 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Joe MILLS, 17.Diego CASTRO, 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Aryn WILLIAMS, 22.Adam TAGGART, 28.Joe KNOWLES, 33.Liam REDDY (gk)

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 3.Marc WARREN (promoted), 9.Andy KEOGH (returns from injury)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 2.Alex GRANT (foot – 2 weeks), 18.Mitch OXBORROW (foot – 2 weeks)

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Western Sydney Wanderers squad: 1.Jerrad TYSON (gk), 2.Shannon COLE, 3.Jack CLISBY, 5.Brendan HAMILL, 6.Mitch NICHOLS (c), 7.Steven LUSTICA, 8.DIMAS, 10.Nicolás MARTÍNEZ, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 13.Bruno PIÑATARES, 14.Jumpei KUSUKAMI, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 18.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 22.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 24.Terry ANTONIS, 29.Ryan GRIFFITHS

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 2.Shannon COLE (promoted), 7.Steven LUSTICA (promoted), 8.DIMAS (returns from suspension)

Outs: 15.Kearyn BACCUS (suspended – one match)

Unavailable: Jacob MELLING (back – indefinite)

BLUFFER'S GUIDE

Perth coach Kenny Lowe has his team hitting their straps at the right time of the A-League campaign.

Glory were in a huge battle just to make the top six two months ago but are now eyeing off third spot after just one defeat in their last nine matches.

Perth are just two points behind Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar, in third and fourth respectively, and depending on other results could leapfrog both with a win on Saturday night.

It's been a mixed week for the Wanderers.

There was the massive high from their gritty 1-0 derby win over Sydney FC but the off-field saga surrounding the Red and Black Bloc, plus Tuesday night's 4-0 AFC Champions League drubbing at the hands of Urawa Red Diamonds has taken the wind out of Western Sydney's sails.

The Wanderers can't afford to get too down on themselves though with every point crucial in the battle for the top six - Tony Popovic's side can move just one point behind Glory with a victory at nib Stadium.

Western Sydney are unbeaten in their last five meetings with Perth, with the two previous matches this season ending in draws.

Both sides are boosted by some key returns for this one, with striker Andy Keogh back in the Glory's squad, while Wanderers skipper Dimas will replace the suspended Kearyn Baccus after serving his own A-League ban in the derby.

ROUTE TO GOAL

Are the Glory the A-League's entertainers? It's a fair question given how their attack has blown opposition defences to shreds in recent weeks.

Perth have scored 10 goals in their last three games, with only the league's top two having scored more than Glory's 38 in 2016-17.

Reigning Johnny Warren medallist Diego Castro is the conductor, while Adam Taggart is the one cashing in with plenty of goals of late - the 23-year-old striker has 10 goals in 15 appearances this season.

Popovic selected a relatively second-string line-up against Urawa this week, so expect the likes of Mitch Nichols, Rob Cornthwaite and Brendon Santalab to return in Western Australia, which can only benefit the Wanderers at both ends of the pitch.

Perhaps the most important player for the visitors could be Terry Antonis, who has impressed since joining the Wanderers on loan, with the 23-year-old's drive and creativity from a deep midfield role having played a key role in the derby win over the Sky Blues.

WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Brendon Santalab. The tenacious striker was Western Sydney's match-winner in the derby and his goals will be crucial to their top-six hopes.

FORM LINES (all competitions)

Perth Glory: WLWWD

Western Sydney Wanderers: LWLWL

PREDICTION

Perth Glory 2-1 Western Sydney Wanderers

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