Match Preview: Lowe and Walker excited by Sydney challenge


Glory Head Coach Kenny Lowe and defender Jeremy Walker are both relishing the prospect of going toe-to-toe with Sydney FC in Saturday’s Round 13 clash at Allianz Stadium.

The reigning champions have not been beaten on home soil since the penultimate round of the 2015-16 season and are currently five points clear at the top of the ladder.

But having secured back-to-back wins in their last two games, Glory will head to the Harbour City exuding a quiet sense of confidence.

“Going to Sydney has been the toughest task for the last three years,” said Lowe. “They haven’t lost many, but that means they’re due a loss. That’s the way I look at it. Everyone loses games eventually, so why not them?

“They are a good team, but it doesn’t mean we can’t beat them and we’ll go over there really focused and confident after the performances that we’ve produced in the last five or six weeks.

“Everyone believes and we’ll go and play our game and give it a good shake.”

Those sentiments were echoed by Walker who insisted that Glory have been focusing more upon themselves than the Sky Blues.

“We are concentrating on getting our own structures right and looking at how to break them down going forward,” he said. “Everyone’s feeling really good and there’s no reason why we can’t go there and get a result.

“That’s the target this week.”

Glory’s most recent visit to Allianz Stadium in Round 4 ended in a VAR-dominated 2-0 defeat, but they did enjoy a 2-1 win there in February 2016 with Chris Harold and Andy Keogh supplying the goals.

Harold and Keogh are both expected to start once again on Saturday and Jacob Italiano returns to the selection mix, but  Xavi Torres, Shane Lowry and Joel Chianese are all set to miss out due to groin problems and Adam Taggart won’t feature either as he continues to recover from a hamstring tear.

Diego Castro, meanwhile, will be looking to score for a third successive game having netted against both Wellington and Brisbane since returning from injury.

Sydney FC remain the only current Hyundai A-League side that the Spaniard is yet to score against.

Match Details

Saturday, 30 December 2017

Sydney FC v Perth Glory

Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Kick-Off: 7:50 PM (Local) (7:50 PM AEDT)

Referee: Jonathan Barreiro

Assistant Referee 1: Owen Goldrick

Assistant Referee 2: Greg Taylor

Fourth Official: Ben Abraham

Video Assistant Referee: Chris Beath

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 501 from 7.45pm (AEDT), ONE from 7:45pm and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: myfootballnation.com (SRN and 6PR Perth). ABC News on Radio, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Listen App – A-League Live.

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

To purchase tickets visit www.a-league.com.au/tickets

Sydney FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Jordy BUIJS, 6.Josh BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Paulo RETRE, 9.BOBÔ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Adrian MIERZEJEWSKI, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 16.Anthony KALIK, 17.David CARNEY, 18. Matt SIMON, 21. Charles LOKOLINGOY, 22.Seb RYALL, 26.Luke WILKSHIRE, 30. Thomas HEWARD-BELLE.

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 16.Anthony KALIK (promoted), 18.Matt SIMON (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 23.Rhyan GRANT (knee – indefinite)

Perth Glory squad: 2.Alex GRANT, 5.Jacob POSCOLIERO, 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 9.Andy KEOGH (c), 13 Nick FEELY (gk), 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Joseph MILLS, 17.Diego CASTRO, 18. Andreu GUERAO, 19.Joe KNOWLES, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 24.Callum TIMMINS, 26.Jacob ITALIANO, 27.Riley WARLAND, 29.Jeremy WALKER, 33.Liam REDDY (gk)

**one to be omitted**

Ins: 24.Callum TIMMINS (promoted), 26.Jacob ITALIANO (promoted)

Outs: 4.Shane LOWRY, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.Xavi TORRES 

Unavailable: 3.Marc WARREN (ankle – 3-4 weeks), 4.Shane Lowry (groin -1-2 weeks), 7.Joel CHIANESE (groin – 1-2 week), 8.Xavi TORRES (groin – 1 week), 22.Adam TAGGART (hamstring – 1-2 weeks), 23.Scott NEVILLE (toe – 3-4 weeks), 25.Daniel STYNES (hamstring – 2-3 weeks)