It has been a tumultuous week at Melbourne City, with Tim Cahill dropping a bombshell after the Socceroos beat Honduras, saying he might be on the move if he doesn’t get more game time. On top of that, Ross McCormack was a conspicuous absentee in last week’s disappointing loss to lowly Brisbane. City’s has been a settled line-up, so it will be interesting to see what team Warren Joyce puts out in what is his first big man management test. All said and done, City should still be too good for an injury-ravaged Glory outfit that, despite having plenty out, is still underperforming.
3 KEY POINTS
- MELBOURNE CITY has now lost two of its past three games after starting the season with four wins in a row.
- PERTH has lost its last two games and three of its last four.
- PERTH star Diego Castro is expected to be out once again with a hamstring injury, in a huge blow for the Glory.
HAPPY HUNTING GROUND
- Last season’s games between these two teams were utter goal fests, with four matches producing a total of 22 goals.
- Perth has been no stranger to success at AAMI Park, winning four and drawing four of its 13 games against City in Melbourne.
- The last meeting between City and Perth was the 2017 elimination final at AAMI Park, with Perth scoring a shock 2-0 victory on the road.
- Melbourne City really only has Bruno Fornaroli left on its injury list and has a staggering amount of depth for coach Warren Joyce to choose his starting 11 from. It’s a headache for the Englishman, but Perth counterpart Kenny Lowe can only dream of having such problems with his squad beset by injuries. Glory’s best player, Diego Castro, looks set to miss again while another attacker – Adam Taggart – remains sidelined with a hamstring injury. Pound for pound, City boasts the better squad, but Perth’s injuries and the travel factor off a short break tip it even more in favour of the hosts.
- When City has won this season, it has done so mainly off the back of strong first halves. Expect the hosts to score early and hold that lead until the death.
- The Socceroos superstar has made a knack of writing the ultimate script throughout his glittering career. And given the week he’s had, it would be fitting if he bobbed up here. You should get some good value too considering there’s doubt over whether he’ll start.
TOTAL GOALS OVER OR UNDER
- City has become a far more pragmatic side under Warren Joyce. So, while history says there’ll be goals in this one, it’s far more likely to be a dour affair based on what has transpired so far this season.