With Perth looking to build on last season’s success, here’s six massive clashes to look forward to in the 2016/2017 A-League season.
1. Battle of Resurgence:
Glory will be looking for a winning start to its season with a nib Stadium doubleheader against the league’s resurgent clubs in Central Coast and Wellington Pheonix respectively. Despite their disappointing campaigns last term, both clubs have recruited heavily in the off-season and will be hungry for points away from home. The Mariners have signed Jacques Faty and Mickael Tavares from local rivals Sydney FC, while also adding English managerial veteran Harry Redknapp on as a consultant to signal their intent for the upcoming season. Similarly, Pheonix has bolstered its squad with prodigal son Kosta Barbarouses returning to his hometown club.
Perth kicks-off the opening tie against Central Coast on October 8 at 7pm and promises to be an intriguing encounter,. That clash will be followed up with another home match at 4:00PM against an always difficult Wellington side.
2. Revenge at AAMI:
Perth will be looking to exact swift revenge in Round 3, as its takes on Melbourne City at AAMI Park. Having fallen to City in last season’s elimination final, Kenny Lowe’s troops will be out to show the competition how far they’ve come after a fruitful transfer period. City enjoyed a successful season last term, with Aaron Mooy and Bruno Fornaroli playing key roles in securing the club’s third finals appearance with a fourth-place finish. The early season clash promises to be a blockbuster with both sides having serious title aspirations and an impressive squad list.
3. Visit from the Champions:
Round 7 will see Glory host last season’s Premiers and Hyundai A-League Champions Adelaide at nib Stadium, in what could prove to be a crucial clash. Fresh after being crowned Champions for the first time in their history, Perth will be looking to dethrone United and send a message to the rest of the competition in a mouthwatering 7:00PM home tie.
4. December the Key:
December proved a key month in building the foundations for a fast finish to the season for Glory, with crucial home wins against Melbourne Victory and Central Coast, as well as important draws to eventual grand finalists Western Sydney and Melbourne City proving massive for the club. The round 10 and 11 nib clashes with Newcastle and Sydney look to be significant matches where Perth can build momentum for the remainder of the season.
5. Back to Back Thrillers:
Glory’s league fixtures against Brisbane and Western Sydney saw an astounding 21 goals scored in just seven matches, including the rollercoaster 6-3 victory against the former in February. Round 20 and 21 will see Perth lock horns in another home doubleheader in what promises to be a massive highlight not just for Glory, but for the league as a whole with finals just around the corner.
6. Blockbusters to Finish:
Glory will end its regular season with another set of home games, with blockbusters against the Roar and Melbourne City. With all three sides expected to make finals, the match-ups will be massive for Perth in its quest for silverware. There’s also the possibility that nib could play host to Socceroo’s legend Tim Cahill, as City are strongly linked with the Australian talisman.