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Lowe expects tough final A-League battle

NZN 9/04/2016 Emma Kemp

They're winless in 11 games and have nothing to play for, but Kenny Lowe still expects Sydney FC to make Perth fight to the death in their bid to secure a home final.

The right to host an elimination final next weekend is now in the Glory's hands thanks to Melbourne City's 2-0 last-round loss to Adelaide on Friday night.

A win over struggling Sydney on Sunday would lift the fifth-placed side to fourth ahead of City, and they could even be playing for third if Wellington beat Western Sydney in New Zealand just before kick-off at Allianz Stadium.

Perth have no reason to believe they can't do the job against a Sky Blues outfit that haven't managed a league win since the Sydney derby in January.

But coach Lowe expected to be challenged by a team playing under the tutelage of the accomplished Graham Arnold.

"I expect the same as always - a highly organised team, very well coached by a guy who's got massive experience in the league," Lowe said.

"It will be a difficult game for us."

Lowe was comfortable with his players carrying high hopes as long as they kept their feet firmly on the ground.

"Whatever floats their boat I'm easy with," he said.

"At the end of the day everyone's got certain aspirations and ambitions.

"As long as they're realistic there's nothing wrong with that."

Striker Chris Harold will miss the clash due to a slight hamstring niggle, but defender Dino Djulbic is available after serving his one-match ban.

Arnold signalled he might rest a couple of players who pulled up sore from Tuesday's Asian Champions League win.

"We want to make it as difficult for Perth Glory as we can," Arnold said.

"Perth are obviously on a good run, and we haven't had a great run in the A-League at all so we owe it to our fans that we finish the season on a good note."

STATS THAT MATTER:

* Sydney have taken just one competition point from their last five matches, outscored 13-5 in that period

* A win would see Perth set a new club record of six consecutive wins

* Sydney have conceded 119 more fouls than they've won, by far the most of any team and more than double the next most (Wanderers, 56)

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