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Melbourne Victory and Perth Glory will commence mid-week action when the Victorian side hosts Perth at AAMI Park tonight. Join The Roar for live scores and commentary, with the match commencing at 7:05pm (AEDT).
Melbourne Victory has had an awkward start to their A-League campaign, struggling to pick up a point in their first two games.
Their 3-1 loss to Brisbane Roar outlined a lack of fluidity as a squad and an inability to create chances going forward. Their lone goal came in the form of a wonder strike from new signing Callum McManaman, but their expected goals (xG) was just 0.54, indicating that they probably should have scored fewer.
However, the navy blue side now finds themselves without the man who has scored their only goal of the season thus far. To add to the injury list, Rudy Gestede joins fellow striker Ben Folami on the sidelines as they suffer hamstring and knee injuries respectively. So Nishikawa and Nick Ansell also find themselves unavailable for the clash.
However, they can be reassured with Socceroo Robbie Kruse back in the side. Grant Brebner told journalists this week: “We need a fit Robbie Kruse in our team, and it gives us another look and a better look. Robbie’s merited his start. Robbie’s fully in my thoughts to start the game.”
While Melbourne Victory has struggled to find the back of the net this season, Perth Glory has been the complete opposite.
In their opening two games, they’ve scored an astonishing nine goals. Their Round 1 opener against Adelaide United featured eight goals, five from Perth and three from the Reds, and they played out a 5-4 thriller, losing to Western United. They came back from one-goal deficits four times but couldn’t respond to Steven Lustica’s 84th-minute goal, which ended up as the winner.
Perth looks completely different to the side they were under Tony Popovic. Last season they played a slow, reactive style of football. They sat deep before keeping possession around the back and through midfield, recycling the ball slowly. They then relied on the progressive passing of Neil Kilkenny and Juande (departed) to find Diego Castro or Bruno Fornaroli, and they played from there.
However, they are now playing a free-flowing 4-4-2 system, which often looks like a 4-2-2-2 after the wingers come inside. In their clash with Western United, there were 27 shots, and against Adelaide, there were 21 between both sides.
Perth Glory’s attacking prowess will be too much for Melbourne Victory, and they will prevail in what will hopefully be another entertaining contest.
However, while it’s only Melbourne Victory’s third match of the season, it looks to be a massive game that could determine whether they are competitive for the top six throughout the season.
Join The Roar tonight at 7:05pm (AEDT) for live scores and commentary of what looks to be a thrilling match-up.
Kick-off: 7:05pm (AEDT)
Venue: AAMI Park, Melbourne
TV: Fox Sports
Live stream: Kayo Sports, Foxtel
1. Matt Acton (gk), 2. Storm Roux, 3. Adama Traore, 5. Ryan Shotton, 6. Leigh Broxham (c), 8. Jacob Butterfield, 10. Robbie Kruse, 13. Birkan Kirdar, 14. Jay Barnett, 15. Aaron Anderson, 16. Brandon Lauton, 17. Elvis Kamsoba, 19. Dylan Ryan, 20. Max Crocombe (gk), 22. Jacob Brimmer, 23. Marco Rojas, 25. Luis Lawrie-Lattanzio, 35. Zaydan Bello
1. Tando Velaphi (gk), 5. Jonathan Aspropotamitis, 9. Bruno Fornaroli, 10. Andy Keogh, 15. Brandon Wilson, 16. Nick Sullivan, 17. Diego Castro, 18. Nick D’agostino, 19. Calllum Timmins, 20. Carlo Armiento, 21. Bryce Bafford, 22. Josh Rawlins, 23. Dane Ingham, 24. Daniel Stynes, 29. Darryl Lachman, 33. Liam Reddy (gk), 34. Mason Tatafu, 37. Riley Warland, 88. Neil Kilkenny (c)