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Williams in line for Glory A-League return

NZN 20/01/2017 Justin Chadwick

Tensions between Rhys Williams and Perth appear to have eased slightly, with the former Socceroo a chance to return in Saturday night's A-League clash with Melbourne Victory at nib Stadium.

Williams had been left out in the cold for the past five games after requesting a switch to rivals Sydney FC.

Glory refused that request, and the bitter standoff couldn't be resolved by mediation meetings.

However, with Alex Grant (foot), Rostyn Griffiths (suspended) and Chris Harold (shoulder) all set to miss this weekend's clash, Williams has been named in an extended squad.

Glory coach Kenny Lowe said he would wait until after Friday night's training session before determining whether to hand Williams a spot in the match-day squad.

Dino Djulbic could take Grant's spot in defence after serving his three-match suspension, but that would still leave Lowe with the option of injecting Williams into the midfield as a replacement for Griffiths.

Lowe was giving little away when asked about Williams' chances of playing.

"We've got a training session tonight. He's eligible as always. Like the rest of the guys, we'll assess that at the end of the session," Lowe said on Friday.

"There's no shift in our relationship. It's still the same. We're in a professional environment.

"He's a contracted player at the club, and we all have expectations on things we need to do with regards to our roles and responsibilities."

Victory will make at least two changes to the team who suffered a shock 3-0 loss on Tuesday to Wellington.

Jason Geria and Fahid Ben Khalfallah are suspended, with Daniel Georgievski and Mitch Austin in line to replace them.

Victory coach Kevin Muscat described the loss to Wellington as a "slap in the face".

But he vowed his team would fight back despite a hectic schedule of three games in eight days.

"If you're a little bit off and you take things for granted ... you find yourself in a hole you can't dig yourself out of," Muscat said.

"That won't happen tomorrow night in Perth. We'll go across to Perth with a clear intent to take three points."

Glory skipper Griffiths was handed a two-week ban for giving the referee a mouthful following his red card in last week's 2-2 draw with Newcastle.

Lowe felt the second yellow card was a bad decision, and he understood why Griffiths was so frustrated.

"He just showed his passion for the team," Lowe said.

"It shows he cares. He wanted to stay on the pitch. He felt it was unjust.

"Look, maybe he did the wrong thing. But he did the wrong thing for the right reasons."

Lowe is hopeful Grant might only miss a month, with scans showing his foot ligament injury doesn't require surgery.

STATS THAT MATTER:

* Perth are undefeated in their past seven games against Victory, conceding more than a single goal only twice in that period

* Andy Keogh has scored the opening goal in four of the past seven games between these teams, including each of the past two

* Besart Berisha has scored four goals in his past three games against the Glory, including a brace in January 2016

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