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Jan 19, 2023   |  4:00PM AET

ALM Match Preview: “We’ll have to be at our best” – RZ

ALM Match Preview: “We’ll have to be at our best” – RZ

They may be languishing at the foot of the ISUZU UTE A-League table, but there is no danger of Glory Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich underestimating the challenge Melbourne Victory will provide in Saturday’s eagerly-anticipated Round 13 clash at Macedonia Park (kick-off at 7.30pm, tickets HERE).

View his pre-match media conference in full HERE.

The men in purple will be out to maintain an impressive, five-game unbeaten home record at the expense of Tony Popovic’s side which has recorded only one win in its last six outings.

The navy-and-whites have been beaten just once in their four most recent visits to Perth, however and given the strength of their squad, Zadkovich is predicting a tough task ahead.

“I’ve coached against him [Popovic] twice,” he said.

“Popa is someone I know well; he was club captain when I was at Sydney FC as a young player, so I know him as a teammate.

“It’s well known that he is a strong personality and has a strong mentality and he passes that on to his teams.

“So we expect a very resolute and focused Melbourne Victory team.

“They’re a massive club with million-dollar players.

“They’re a big-spending team and we expect them to bring all their big guns and rock up to Macedonia Park to give us a very stiff test.

“So we’ll have to be at our best.”

While aware of the threats that the visitors will pose, the Head Coach went on to stress that the main direction of Glory’s focus this week has been inward.

“It’s been nice to have some time on the training pitch to continue improving,” he said.

“We’ve had a really good week on the pitch with the players where the focus and the effort and their application has been very, very good.

“We’re taking positive steps and heading in the right direction and that’s important to me at this stage.

“I’m not focusing too much on how other teams are faring, I’m just worrying about what we’re doing.

“Our focus is firmly on us.

“It’s on improving, growing as a group and getting stronger together.”

Zadkovich went on to provide an injury update on both Salim Khelifi and new recruit, Adam Taggart.

“They’re both progressing,” he said.

“Whether or not it’s quick enough for this weekend, I’m not sure.

“We’ll get through tomorrow’s training session and see where they’re at.

“I’d say they’re both in doubt, but they’re a small chance and if not this weekend, then they’re very close moving into next week.

“We’ve got a very good physio team which is working around the clock to see if we can get all our players right, so fingers crossed on that one.”

Victory have recorded three wins thus far this season, accounting for Sydney FC, Newcastle Jets and Macarthur FC, but have not scored more than once in their last six outings.

Up to six former Glory players could line up in navy on Saturday evening, including Nick D’Agostino who leads their goalscoring chart with three and Jake Brimmer who has started 10 of their 11 games, contributing one goal and one assist.

The 24 previous A-League meetings between the two clubs in WA have produced 13 wins for Glory and seven for Victory, while the overall record is almost even, with Victory having claimed maximum points on 20 occasions to Glory’s 19.

Match Details

ISUZU UTE A-League 2022-23 Season Round 13

Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory

Macedonia Park

Saturday 21 January 2023

Kick-off: 7.30pm

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), 12.Luke IVANOVIC, 13.Cameron COOK (gk), 14.Jack CLISBY, 16.Keegan JELACIC, 18.David WILLIAMS, 19.Zach DUNCAN, 20.Giordano COLLI, 23.Mitch OXBORROW, 28.Trent OSTLER, 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 36.Joseph FORDE, 37.Jacob MUIR, 43.Adam ZIMARINO

Ins: 23.Mitch OXBORROW, 28.Trent OSTLER

Outs: None 

Unavailable: 1.Brad JONES (gk) (injured), 10.Salim KHELIFI (injured), 21.Anthony BURKE-GILROY (injured), 22.Adam TAGGART (injured), 24.Adrian SARDINERO (injured)

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matt ACTON, 2.Jason GERIA, 3.Enrique LOPEZ, 5.Matt SPIRANOVIC, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 8.Josh BRILLANTE, 9.Tomi JURIC, 10.Bruno FORNAROLI, 11.Ben FOLAMI, 14.Jay BARNETT, 18.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 21.Roderick MIRANDA, 22.Jake BRIMMER, 24.Nishan VELUPILLAY, 25.Noah SMITH, 26.Lleyton BROOKS, 28.Will Wilson, 30.Ahmad TALEB, 31.Matthew BOZINOVSKI

Ins: 3.Enrique LOPEZ (promoted), 9.Tomi JURIC (promoted), 21.Roderick MIRANDA (promoted)

Outs: 4.Rai MARCHAN (concussion protocol)

Unavailable: 17.Luis NANI (injured), 20.Paul IZZO (injured)