Match Preview: “A win would be priceless, justified and deserved” – Epakis

WWL - Canberra United v Glory - Natasha Rigby heading

Glory Head Coach Alex Epakis has spoken of how much a win in tonight’s clash with Melbourne Victory at Dorrien Gardens (kick-off at 6.35pm) would mean to his players and staff.

The women in purple are yet to taste victory this term, but produced a spirited and encouraging performance against Canberra United last time out before succumbing to a stoppage-time goal.

And according to Epakis, the fact that the schedule continues to do them no favours would make a maiden win all the sweeter.

“A win would be priceless, justified and very well deserved given everything,” he said.

“Unfortunately in football, as in life, you can be dealt some cruel cards and just because we deserve something, it doesn’t mean we’re going to get it.

“So we need to continue to work hard and earn that victory and when we do, it will be a very special and proud moment for everyone to share.

“Physically we’re not going to be at our optimum level [against Victory] because it’s just not possible to back up so quickly and have so many games in such a short turnaround.

“But we need to do our best to make sure that mentally we’re as prepared as possible and after what we went through against Canberra, I think we’re going to come out of that a bit more resilient and a bit more optimistic because we know we were able to compete against a good team for 90 minutes.

“Barring a couple of decisions and things that went against us, we thought it was one of our strongest performances, so mentally we can use that as our starting point to prepare for this game and we’re gong to be fresh based on that.”

The navy-and-whites will be out to extend a five-game unbeaten run which has reignited their finals hopes after a sluggish start and Epakis is expecting Jeff Hopkins’ side to present a stern challenge in what is Glory’s penultimate home game of the campaign.

“Victory are in exactly the same position as Canberra were when we played them a couple of days ago in that they need three points to stay in touch with the top four,” he said.

“Games are running out, so every point matters for those teams in mid-table and above and they need to win to jump back up into fourth.

“So we’re going to face a committed team which has firepower and experience across the park.

“I’ve admired how they’ve gone about their business this season and I think we need to respect them as a team, but we also need to respect what we can do and build upon what we did against Canberra.

“I think if we try to match it toe-to-toe with them, we’ll give ourselves a chance.”

In terms of team news, Isabella Wallhead returns to the squad to replace the suspended Sarah Carroll, while Glory’s attacking options could be bolstered by the inclusion of Taneesha Baker.

Glory have lost three of their last four meetings with Victory, but enjoy a 10-9 overall advantage from the 21 games played between the two sides.

Match Details

Tuesday, 16 March 2021

Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory

Dorrien Gardens, Perth

Kick-Off: 6:35pm (Local)(9:35pm (AEDT))

Referee: Rebecca Durcau

Assistant Referee 1: Arvin Shanmuganathan

Assistant Referee 2: Adrien Liechti

Fourth Official: Shane Skinner

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #PERvMVC

Perth Glory squad: 1.Lily ALFELD (GK), 4.Natasha RIGBY (C), 5.Deborah-Anne DE LA HARPE, 6.Tijan MCKENNA, 7.Elizabeth ANTON, 8.Hana LOWRY, 9.Malia STEINMETZ, 10.Alexia MORENO, 11.Patricia CHARALAMBOUS, 12.Sarah MORGAN, 13.Jamie-Lee GALE, 14.Caitlin DOEGLAS, 16.Isabella WALLHEAD, 17.Marianna TABAIN, 18.Taneesha BAKER, 20.Rebecca BENNETT (GK), 23.Katarina JUKIC

**1 to be omitted**

Ins: 16.Isabella WALLHEAD (promoted), 18.Taneesha BAKER (promoted)

Outs: 2.Sarah CARROLL (suspended – 1 week)

Unavailable: 3.Gemma CRAINE (hamstring – season)

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Gabby GARTON (gk), 2.Tiffany ELIADIS, 3.Claudia BUNGE, 4.Natalie MARTINEAU, 7.Kyra COONEY-CROSS, 8.Angela BEARD, 9.Catherine ZIMMERMAN, 10.Annalie LONGO, 11.Lisa DE VANNA, 13.Polly DORAN, 14.Melina AYRES, 15.Amy JACKSON, 17.Maja MARKOVSKI, 18.Kayla MORRISON, 20.Mel MAIZELS (gk), 21.Gabe MARZANO, 30.MelindaJ BARBIERI

**1 to be omitted**

Ins: 9.Catherine ZIMMERMAN (return from injury), 21.Gabe MARZANO (new signing)

Outs: 19.Lia PRIVITELLI (Suspended – 1 week)

Unavailable: Natalie TATHEM (Season – knee)