ALM Match Preview: Stajcic preparing for “toughest game of the season”

Head Coach Alen Stajcic believes that his side will need to be at their absolute best to overcome an in-form Sydney FC in Wednesday’s Isuzu UTE A-League showdown at HBF Park (kick-off at 6:45pm, tickets available HERE).

View his full pre-match media conference HERE.

The Sky Blues headed west fresh from a win over Central Coast Mariners which means they have now lost just once in their last ten outings.

Glory, meanwhile, were edged out by Melbourne Victory on Sunday afternoon and Stajcic believes that the quick turnaround will make the challenge of toppling Sydney even more difficult.

“We’ll have one day’s less recovery than Sydney FC and in moments like these, that becomes important, that becomes critical,” he said.

“With my background in international football, I know how much that extra day can play a part in recovery.

“So Sydney have a bit of an advantage… and the fact that we’ve had to travel home [immediately] fatigued after a match also makes it tough.

“It’ll test our squad depth and see how resilient we are mentally and physically playing against a red-hot team.

“They [Sydney FC] have been excellent the last few weeks.

“There are a lot of strengths in that team, a lot of quality individuals as well as the tactical shift that they’ve had in the last period of time.

“It’s probably going to be the hardest game we’ve had this year.”

The Glory squad have been confronted by a multitude of challenges all season, however and Stajcic has been heartened by their response to adversity.

“Regardless of results in games, we’ve been in every match, winning and losing,” he said.

“We’ve only ever won by one goal and lost by one goal, barring maybe three or four matches in total.

“We’re one of those teams this year where there hasn’t been a big score differential in any week, so I think that we’ve shown a good resilience regardless of who’s come in.

“I think we’ve shown good team alignment and unity.

“The quality over 90 minutes can definitely improve and be more consistent throughout matches, but we have shown that whoever has come in, they are ready to step up and fight for the team and the club, which is a massive positive.”

Sydney FC will be out to complete the double over Glory having won 3-2 when the two sides met at Allianz Stadium in Round 6 and should they manage to do so, it will be the 15th time they have claimed maximum points in 28 visits to WA.

Among their star performers this term have been English import Joe Lolley, whose eight goals and seven assists have him among the leading contenders for this year’s Alex Tobin Medal, Brazilian striker Fabio Gomes, who has found the net nine times and midfielder Luke Brattan, whose tally of 49 successful tackles is the second-highest in the league.

Match Details

Isuzu UTE A-League 2023/24 Season Round 12

Perth Glory v Sydney FC

HBF Park

Wednesday 3 April 2024

Kick-off: 6:45pm WST

Perth Glory Squad: 1.Oli SAIL (gk), 2.Johnny KOUTROUMBIS, 3.Jacob MUIR, 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, 77.Bruce KAMAU

(One to be omitted)

Ins: 15.Aleksandar SUSNJAR

Outs: Nil

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

Sydney FC squad: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE4. Jordan COURTNEY-PERKINS, 6. Jack RODWELL, 8. Jake GIRDWOOD-REICH, 9. Fabio GOMES, 10. Joe LOLLEY, 11. Robert MAK, 12. Corey HOLLMAN, 15. Gabriel LACERDA, 16. Joel KING, 17. Anthony CACERES, 18. Matthew SCARCELLA, 19. Mitch GLASSON, 20. Adam PAVLESIC (GK), 22. Max BURGESS, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 25. Jaiden KUCHARSKI, 26. Luke BRATTAN ©, 27. Hayden MATTHEWS, 28. Nathan AMANATIDIS
(Two to be omitted)

Ins: 6. Jack RODWELL (promoted),  18. Matthew SCARCELLA (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 13. Pat WOOD (injured), 29. Joe LACEY (injured)