ALW Match Preview: Control the key against WSW – Epakis

Glory Head Coach Alex Epakis is looking for his side to dictate terms when they welcome Western Sydney Wanderers to Macedonia Park on Sunday (kick-off at 7:00pm WST, tickets available HERE).

View his full pre-match interview HERE.

The women in purple have been a force to reckon with on their home patch in recent months and could move level on points with leaders Melbourne City if they manage to secure a seventh win of the campaign this weekend.

And Epakis is clear on what is required for them to do just that.

“The key thing for us is just building on our performance last week against Central Coast,” he said.

“It was a really important performance for us in terms of the ability to compete from a physical and mental point of view.

“Leading into this week, it’s going to be a very similar game with a very similar style from the opposition and what we really want to do is harness the idea of being at home.

“We had a fantastic calendar year there last year, losing just one game at home in 12 months and that’s a record we’re extremely proud of.

“We know that when teams come here, we can go a long way in controlling the performance and the way we want the game to go.

“We’ve been really stressing that this week and the players are really primed for a great performance.”

While quietly confident about his side’s prospects heading into the Round 11 fixture, Epakis is not underestimating a Wanderers side which secured an eye-catching 2-0 win over traditional ALW heavyweights Melbourne Victory last time out.

“We have to expect the best version of Western Sydney Wanderers and we’re really mindful of what they can do and what their style is,” he said.

“We’re really focused on making sure we can nullify their type of play and really battle with and without the ball and if we do that, we give ourselves a chance to get another three points.”

After reporting a clean bill of health among the squad, the Head Coach went on to outline just how much of a difference the club’s Members and fans can make at Macedonia Park.

“It’s such a great force that the crowd and the home advantage generates for us,” he said, “and we want to harness that energy in a really positive way, use that to our advantage and make it a really hostile place for opposition teams to come and attempt to perform in.

“We’re super-appreciative of all the support and the energy that the crowd gives us and we really encourage everyone to keep doing that not just this week, but throughout the rest of the season.

“We’re going to need everyone behind us as we give this thing a real crack.”

As for Sunday’s visitors, they have enjoyed mixed fortunes thus far this term, securing three wins from nine games and scoring 12 goals in the process.

Sophie Harding has been one of their best performers, scoring half her side’s goals and adding an assist, while Cushla Rue has also looked dangerous going forward and US import Vicky Bruce has been an influential figure at the back.

Glory have won 10 of the 18 overall meetings between the two sides, although the seven most recent fixtures have produced an even split of three victories apiece and one draw.

Match Details

Liberty A-League 2023/24 Season Round 11

Perth Glory v Western Sydney Wanderers

Macedonia Park

Sunday 7 January 2024

Kick-off: 7:00pm WST

Perth Glory squad: 1.Morgan AQUINO (GK), 3.Jessika COWART, 4.Natasha RIGBY (c), 7.Liz ANTON, 8.Hana LOWRY, 9.Millie FARROW, 10.Susan PHONSONGKHAM, 11.Grace JALE, 12.Sofia SAKALIS, 13.Sarah CAIN, 14.Tia STONEHILL, 17.Abbey GREEN, 18.Sadie LAWRENCE, 19.Izzy FOLETTA, 20.Quinley QUEZADA, 22.Claudia MIHOCIC, 23.Isobel DALTON, 24.Sally JAMES (GK), 25.Grace JOHNSTON, 27.Georgia CASSIDY

*Four to be omitted

Ins: 14.Tia STONEHILL, 17.Abbey GREEN, 18.Sadie LAWRENCE, 19.Izzy FOLETTA

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 16.Isabella WALLHEAD (injured), 28.Anika STAJCIC (injured)

Western Sydney Wanderers squad: 1.Kaylie COLLINS (GK), 2.Vicky BRUCE, 3.Gemma FERRIS, 4.Madison MCCOMASKY, 5.Lauren KEIR, 6.Amy CHESSARI, 7.Amy HARRISON, 8.Olivia PRICE, 9.Sophie HARDING, 10.Melissa CACERES, 11.Danika MATOS, 14.Milly CLEGG, 15.Cushla RUE, 17.India BREIER, 18.Malia MORRIS, 19.Talia YOUNIS, 20.Sham KHAMIS (GK), 21.Alexia APOSTOLAKIS, 22.Ischia BROOKING.

Ins: Nil

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Nil