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City defend badly against Glory: Griffiths

NZN 18/04/2017 Emma Kemp

If the evidence of this A-League season is anything to go by, Perth captain Rostyn Griffiths expects Melbourne City to leave themselves vulnerable for an elimination-final hiding.

Despite finishing one spot higher on the table, the often inconsistent City have failed to defeat the Glory in the home-and-away campaign.

Michael Valkanis' side, then under former coach John van't Schip, recorded a 3-2 loss and a 3-3 draw late last year before falling 5-4 in Sunday's rollercoaster final-round meeting in Perth.

In Griffiths' mind, there was no question about why the Glory have reigned supreme - and may again at AAMI Park on Sunday night.

"For whatever reason, they defend poorly and we attack well," Griffiths said.

"They always seem to leave themselves exposed at the back and one thing we've proven this season is we can score goals.

"Hopefully they do that again because we've got goals from all angles at the moment.

"Sometimes you come across some teams that just suit your style of play and Melbourne City certainly have seemed to do that this season."

This time last season was a very different story when City defeated the Glory 2-0 in the first week of finals in Melbourne.

But midfielder Griffiths described the clubs' squads as "chalk and cheese" and said the lessons of last year had informed their current approach to City.

That said, the Glory aren't taking too much tactical analysis from Sunday's "mental" match, preferring to leave the nine-goal thriller as a one-off and utilise it as a momentum and confidence builder.

That is especially the case for Griffiths, who hasn't started a match since sitting out rounds 24 and 25 with a quad injury.

The 29-year-old, who's played 62 minutes off the bench over the last two games, believes the extra precautions will ensure he can slot back in to the XI on Sunday.

"I've been taking it easy the last few weeks to make sure I can get fit for the finals," he said.

"Last season they probably went a bit gung-ho with (Diego) Castro and (Chris) Harold and then going in to the finals they were struggling a little bit.

"We didn't want to make the same mistake twice so that's why we held back a bit."

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