ALM Match Preview: Rested Glory relishing Victory challenge

Glory Head Coach Alen Stajcic is confident that the international break has left his side in a good place ahead of Sunday’s Isuzu UTE A-League clash with Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park (kick-off at 12pm WST).

View his full pre-match media conference HERE.

The men in purple will be out to avenge an unfortunate 3-2 defeat at the hands of the navy-and-whites when the two sides met at HBF Park back in early January.

And Stajcic feels that Glory showed enough in that Round 11 meeting to suggest that they have what it takes to put a major dent in Victory’s top-four hopes.

“We’ve changed things up [during the break], played a lot of small-sided games, enjoyed the time away from having a game on the weekend and had a bit of a reset,” he said.

“But now we’re firmly focused on what is a really big game for us against a good opponent.

“I thought we were probably a little hard done by the first time we played them when they scored that late winner and we only had ten players.

“I thought it was a really good performance from us last time, we were unlucky to lose the game and that gives us a lot of confidence heading into this weekend.

“I know we’ll be ready to go on Sunday.”

Not that the Head Coach is underestimating Tony Popovic’s men who have suffered the joint-fewest defeats in the A-League this season.

“They’re one of the most dangerous teams in the league and were undefeated for what, 15 or 16 games?” he said.

“I know they had a lot of draws in there, but they’re certainly one of the better teams on paper and if everyone fires for them, they’ll be hard to beat on any given day.

“So it’s important for us to nullify their threats as much as we can and going back to the previous game against them, I thought on balance, we were the better team.

“Even with ten players, we certainly had our chances to stay in the game and it was a real confidence builder for me to know that we can match a team like that.

“We obviously played them twice in pre-season as well and we know what to expect.

“They’re a good team and we’ll have to be at our best to compete and get the win up.

“The onus is on us.”

In terms of squad news, meanwhile, Stajcic confirmed that things are looking up on the injury front, but also noted the potential need for player rotation given that Glory face three games in the space of seven days.

“There are probably three players that are 50/50 at the moment, so we’ll see how they go today at training and over the course of Friday and Saturday,” he said.

“Hopefully two or three of them will be available.

“It’s a big week for us next week, so managing time is going to be the critical part.

“There are going to be some tight calls and some tough calls, but the more we have to choose from, the better it will be for the whole team.”

Victory head into Sunday’s game in mixed form having won two, lost two and drawn two of their last six and at home, they have only secured maximum points once since the turn of the year.

In terms of their key individual performers, ex-Glory forward Bruno Fornaroli has bagged 15 goals to lead the A-League Golden Boot standings, French import Zinedine Machach has found the net six times and added three assists during an impressive debut campaign in the competition and Paul Izzo has kept five clean sheet while starting every game.

Of the 16 previous meetings between the two sides at AAMI Park, Victory have won seven to Glory’s five and last season’s corresponding fixture ended in a 0-0 draw.

Match Details

Isuzu UTE A-League 2023/24 Season Round 22

Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory


Sunday 31 March 2024

Kick-off: 12pm WST (3pm Local Time)

Referee: Ben Abraham

Melbourne Victory squad: 2.Jason GERIA, 3.Adama TRAORE, 5.Damien DA SILVA, 7.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 8.Zinedine MACHACH, 10.Bruno FORNAROLI, 11.Ben FOLAMI, 14.Connor CHAPMAN, 16.Stefan NIGRO, 18.Fabian MONGE, 19.Daniel ARZANI, 20.Paul IZZO, 21.Roderick MIRANDA, 22.Jake BRIMMER, 23.Salim KHELIFI, 25.Ryan TEAGUE, 27.Jordi VALADON, 28.Roly BONEVACIA, 37.Kasey BOS, 40.Christian SICILIANO

Ins: 3.Adama TRAORE, 16.Stefan NIGRO, 25.Ryan TEAGUE

Outs: 17.Nishan VELUPILLAY, 27.Jordi VALADON

Unavailable: Nil

Perth Glory squad: 1.Oli SAIL (gk), 2.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 3.Jacob MUIR, 5.Mark BEEVERS (co-c), 7.Stefan COLAKOVSKI, 8.Mustafa AMINI, 9.David WILLIAMS, 13.Cameron COOK (gk), 14.Riley WARLAND, 15.Aleksandar SUSNJAR, 16.Josh RAWLINS, 17.Jarrod CARLUCCIO, 19.Trent OSTLER, 20.Giordano COLLI, 22.Adam TAGGART (co-c), 23.Daniel BENNIE, 27.Jayden GORMAN, 28.Kaelan MAJEKODUNMI, 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 31.Joel ANASMO

Two to be omitted

Ins: 3.Jacob MUIR, 5.Mark BEEVERS (co-c), 15.Aleksandar SUSNJAR, 17.Jarrod CARLUCCIO

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 11.Adam ZIMARINO (injured), 21.Antonis MARTIS (injured)