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Sydney FC - Perth Glory Preview

Goal.com logo Goal.com 27-04-2017

The premiers enter the A-League finals as everyone's favourites to be crowned champions. Can Perth Glory cause another upset and halt Sydney FC's juggernaut in its tracks?

SQUADS

Sydney FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Jordy BUIJS, 6.Joshua BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.BOBÔ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Bernie IBINI, 12.Aaron CALVER, 13.Brandon O'NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 17.David CARNEY, 18.Matt SIMON, 19.George BLACKWOOD, 20.Danny VUKOVIC (GK), 21.Filip HOLOSKO, 23.Rhyan GRANT **two to be omitted**

Ins: 12.Aaron CALVER (promoted), 19.George BLACKWOOD (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Nil

Perth Glory squad: 3.Marc WARREN, 5.Rhys WILLIAMS, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.Rostyn GRIFFITHS (c), 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebo MARINKOVIC, 11.Richard GARCIA, 13.Nick FEELY (GK), 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Joe MILLS, 17.Diego CASTRO, 18.Mitch OXBORROW, 19.Josh RISDON, 22.Adam TAGGART, 26.Lucian GOIAN, 33.Liam REDDY (GK) **two to be omitted**

Ins: 16.Joe MILLS, 18.Mitch OXBORROW

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 2.Alex GRANT (foot – season), 4.Shane LOWRY (quad – season)

BLUFFER'S GUIDE

After an all-conquering, record-breaking season, most expect Sydney FC to continue their inexorable march to the A-League championship.

This season, the Sky Blues accumulated more wins and points than any previous side and conceded fewer goals and kept more clean sheets than anyone that has come before.

Bobo unfazed by physical Glory

They secured the Premier's Plate well before the end of the season, eventually opening up a 17-point chasm back to second place.

And they'll certainly go into Saturday night's semi-final as warm favourites.

But no-one really expected Perth Glory to beat Melbourne City last weekend either.

Glory were worthy winners of their elimination final and are full of confidence as they seek to claim the biggest scalp of all.

COMMENT: Perth glorious as City disappoint

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They have momentum, unity and in Kenny Lowe, a coach who is looking more like a master motivator and tactician every week.

However, beating an out-of-sorts City is one thing - overcoming the side many are calling the best in the 12-year history of the A-League is entirely another.

The big selection news is that Sydney playmaker Milos Ninkovic, who was crunched by Newcastle Jets midfielder Ben Kantarovski in Round 27, has recovered fully.

Sydney have won the four clashes in all competitions between the two this season, scoring 13 goals in the process.

Graham Arnold's men are odds-on to ease into the grand final but all bets are off come finals time.

ROUTE TO GOAL

From the moment they put four goals past Western Sydney Wanderers on the opening weekend, the Sky Blues have been the A-League's most prolific side.

They averaged better than two goals per game across their entire campaign.

Brazilian marquee striker Bobo scored his debut goal in the derby and was consistent all season, netting 15 times, while skipper Alex Brosque rolled back the years to score 11 goals.

Slovakian winger Filip Holosko chipped in with seven goals, while the supply line to that trio largely came from Johnny Warren Medal favourite Ninkovic, who notched ten assists and nine goals.

Perth transformed with Garcia and Griffiths

Glory are no attacking slouches - they've now scored the same number of goals as Sydney FC this season, albeit in one more game - while last week's win over City saw Perth produce a much-improved defensive display.

If experienced quartet Dino Djulbic, Lucian Goian, Richard Garcia and Rostyn Griffiths can keep things tight for the visitors in the middle of the pitch, Glory could snag a berth in the 2017 A-League Grand Final.

WHO'S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Dino Djulbic. The Glory defender was nothing short of Herculean in a man-of-the-match performance against City, repelling Michael Valkanis' various attacking threats in a typically wholehearted performance.

FORM LINES

Sydney FC: WWWDW

Perth Glory: LDWWW

PREDICTION

Sydney FC 3-1 Perth Glory

More: Melbourne City 0 Perth Glory 2: Castro inspires Elimination Finals revenge mission | Perth Glory target Sydney FC upset

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