ALM Match Preview: RZ eyeing watershed win over Wanderers

Glory Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich believes that a victory over Western Sydney Wanderers at Macedonia Park on Friday has the potential to be a watershed moment the club’s ISUZU UTE A-League season (kick-off at 7.30pm, tickets HERE).

View his full pre-match media conference HERE.

The men in purple will be out to bounce back from Monday’s defeat at Adelaide United by extending a home record this term which consists of one win and one draw.

And the Head Coach is adamant that three points at the expense of the high-flying Wanderers could prove hugely significant.

“In this competition, one win can turn your season around,” he said.

“You look at a team like Newcastle Jets; before they played Adelaide, they were 11th, then they won one game and went into the top six.

“We’re not that far out of the top six.

“Two wins can get you back in the frame and we’ve got a game in hand on a lot of teams above us as well.

All the games are worth three points and they’re all important, but it is nice to be home.

“We’ve got great fans and very loyal Members.

“So far this year, we’ve had two opportunities to play at Macedonia Park and we’ve put in two pretty good performances, one win and one draw and we’re undefeated.

“So we’ll look to continue that on Friday.”

Not that Zadkovich is expecting anything other than a stern test against Mark Rudan’s Wanderers who currently sit in second spot in the table having accrued 18 points from ten games.

“We’re up against a very good Western Sydney Wanderers team that are full steam ahead at the moment,” he said.

“Rudes [Mark Rudan] is what he is.

“He was a tough, combative player and he’s a tough, combative coach.

“He’s set his team up really well.

“I think they’ve built a really tough squad, they have a strong playing roster and they’re a good side.

“But they’ve got to come here and beat our team and that’s no easy feat to come to Perth and beat our team in front of our home fans.

With a quick turnaround, it’s going to take a massive effort for us to get up on Friday night, but I believe that our home fans will definitely provide that extra support we need.

In terms of early team news, Zadkovich confirmed that midfielder Aaron McEneff unfortunately remains sidelined.

“Aaron has picked up a small injury to his foot, so we’re without him at the moment,” he said.

“It looks like not too bad an injury, but enough to keep him out for a couple of weeks.

“It’s a big loss.

“He carries with him a presence and a level of quality which we lacked at times in that Adelaide game, I thought.

“But we’ve got to bounce back really quickly without him.

“He was one of our big target signings for this season, but there are other quality players there.

“Zach Duncan, Luke Bodnar, Giordano Colli… young guys with less experience, but they have a level of talent as well and they need to step up to the plate and deliver.

“While it’s unfortunate for us, especially in our situation, to lose one of our best players, it does provide an opportunity for those young guys and I’m not shy about playing those guys and backing them in and I’ve shown that in the past.”

Much of Wanderers’ success so far this term has been based on a miserly defence, but they let the handbrake off in their most recent outing in which they trounced Macarthur FC 4-0.

Rudan’s men have kept the most clean sheets in the competition to date, while at the other end of the field, Bosnia & Herzegovina international Sulejman Krpic has scored two goals, as have both Oli Bozanic and Yeni Ngbakoto.

The most recent clash between the two sides here in WA produced a 1-1 draw at HBF Park in April, but overall, Glory have claimed seven wins to Wanderers’ two in this fixture.

Match Details

ISUZU UTE A-League 2022/23 Season Round 11

Perth Glory v Western Sydney Wanderers

Macedonia Park

Friday 6 January 2023

Kick-off: 7.30pm WST

Perth Glory squad: 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 2.John KOUTROUMBIS, 3.Jacob DOWSE, 4.Luke BODNAR, 5.Mark BEEVERS, 7.Ryan WILLIAMS, 8.Mustafa AMINI (c), 10.Salim KHELIFI, 12.Luke IVANOVIC, 13.Cameron COOK (gk), 14.Jack CLISBY, 16.Keegan JELACIC, 18.David WILLIAMS, 19.Zach DUNCAN, 20.Giordano COLLI, 25.Matt HATCH, 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 36.Joseph FORDE, 37.Jacob MUIR, 43.Adam ZIMARINO

Ins: 25.Matt HATCH, 43.Adam ZIMARINO

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 1.Brad JONES (gk) (injured), 6.Aaron MCENEFF (injured),  21.Anthony BURKE-GILROY (injured), 22.Adrian SARDINERO (injured)

Western Sydney Wanderers squad: 1.Daniel MARGUSH (GK), 2.Gabriel CLEUR, 3.Adama TRAORE, 5.Tomislav MRCELA, 6.Marcelo (C), 7.Ramy NAJJARINE, 8.Oliver BOZANIC, 9.Kusini YENGI, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Sulejman KRPIC, 12.Ruon TONGYIK, 17.Romain AMALFITANO, 19.Daniel WILMERING, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 23.Yeni NGBAKOTO, 26.Brandon BORELLO, 28.Calem NIEUWENHOF, 35.Zac SAPSFORD, 36.Alessandro LOPANE, 37.Alex BADOLATO.

Ins: 10.Milos NINKOVIC (promoted), 37.Alex BADOLATO (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Nil

(picture courtesy of Fotoenzo)