This New Year’s Day matchup is sure to provide plenty of fireworks to get 2017 off with a bang!
Both sides are desperate to break out of a funk as each team has just one win in their past six games.
Western Sydney has fared better than Perth though with just one loss coming during that run while the Glory has three defeats.
The Wanderers head into this with a 1-1 draw against Brisbane while Perth pulled out all stops, particularly goalkeeper Liam Reddy, to ensure they split the points with Melbourne City 3-3.
Coach Tony Popovic will have a few headaches this week with a lack of experienced strikers to call on.
The team’s leading scorer Brendon Santalab is suspended for two weeks while Kerem Bulut has been released. For a team struggling to score goals (1.33gpg average) that isn’t a good sign.
Liam Reddy pulled out one of the best efforts from a keeper you will ever see in saving two Bruno Fornaroli penalties on Tuesday night. That earned Perth a share of the points in what was one of their more spirited efforts of the past few weeks.
For some reason they have had the measure of City this season, especially on the road, where they beat them earlier in the season 3-2 and then settled for the draw at the same venue last week.
Western Sydney has won two of the past four contests between the teams with the other two results being draws.
Goals have flowed in recent games with an average of three goals per match scored in their past four matchups.
HOW IT PANS OUT
Western Sydney’s issue has been in the final third of the pitch and with their attacking stocks stretched thin, that could continue here. One thing in their favour has been the form of creative midfielders Nicolas Martinez and Jumpei Kusukami, while captain Dimas scored a pearler of a free-kick last week against Brisbane to suggest he could also be finding form.
The big question mark against Perth is how they handle the short turnaround for their second straight road game.
Probably the biggest headache for Glory supporters and for coach Kenny Lowe has been the defence, which is conceding a league-worst 2.16 goals per game and has copped 10 goals in their past four matches. Western Sydney’s defence hasn’t been much better, conceding just four goals less to be only better than Adelaide and the Glory.
While the Wanderers will be without Bulut, Perth will have to do without Dino Djulbic who was sent off in the latter stages of that dramatic draw against Melbourne City.
THE TIP: WANDERERS
– they look to be the slightly safer option
TOTAL GOALS OVER/UNDER 2.5: Defence hasn’t been a priority for either team so definitely go for OVERS