Match Preview: Pride driving Glory into first-up challenge – RZ

“It’s hard to say exactly how the game will go, but we want to put a real sense of pride back into the badge and what Perth Glory means to us as staff and players.”

That was the typically robust response from Glory Head Coach Ruben Zadkovich when asked for his thoughts on Sunday’s season-opening away trip to Western Sydney Wanderers (kick-off at 12pm WST, live on Paramount +, 10BOLD).

Commbank Stadium will play host to a clash between two clubs whose squads have undergone wholesale changes since the end of the 2021/22 campaign, with up to a dozen players in line to make their debut for Glory.

But while that may render predicting the nature of the game or the outcome decidedly difficult, Zadkovich is unequivocal as to the kind of approach his charges will take.

“We haven’t seen too much of them [Western Sydney Wanderers],” he said.

“They have some high-quality players, like Milos Ninkovic who has crossed from Sydney FC and is one of the best players that the country has ever seen and they have another string of high-calibre players.

“They’re at home in front of a full stadium, but it’s just the sort of challenge we look forward to.

“We want to get ourselves back to where we need to be and we’re looking at Sunday as an opportunity to get one step closer towards that.

“Whether we’re there on Sunday, time will tell, but one thing I can assure you of is that if we keep working as hard as we are now, we will get there.

“We need more games and it’ll be interesting to see where we’re at on Sunday, but we’ll be a team that plays closer to what I want than was the case last season.”

The historical omens are good for Glory who have not lost an opening-day game since 2017, while the two sides’ overall record is exactly even with the 28 previous meetings yielding ten wins apiece and eight draws.

The men in purple’s last success in Sydney’s west came on the final day of the 2014/15 season when goals from Jamie Maclaren and Andy Keogh helped the visitors to a 2-1 victory.

Match Details

Western Sydney Wanderers v Perth Glory
Sunday 9 October 2022
CommBank Stadium
Kick-off: 12.00pm WST (3.00pm Local)
Broadcast: Paramount+, 10BOLD

Western Sydney Wanderers Squad: 1.Daniel MARGUSH (GK), 2.Gabriel CLEUR, 3.Adama TRAORE, 5.Tomi MRCELA, 6.Marcelo GUEDES, 7.Ramy NAJJARINE, 8.Oliver BOZANIC, 9.Kusini YENGI, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Sulejman KRPIC, 12.Ruon TONGYIK, 17.Romain AMALFITANO, 19.Daniel WILMERING, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 21.Jarrod CARLUCCIO, 23.Yeni NGBAKOTO, 26.Brandon BORRELLO, 28.Calem NIEUWENHOF, 35.Zac SAPSFORD, 36.Alessandro LOPANE

Perth Glory Squad: 33.Liam REDDY (GK), 2.John KOUTROUMBIS, 5.Mark BEEVERS, 6.Aaron MCENEFF, 7.Ryan WILLIAMS, 8.Mustafa AMINI, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 10.Salim KHELIFI, 11.Ben AZUBEL, 12.Luke IVANOVIC, 14.Jack CLISBY, 16.Keegan JELACIC, 19.Zach DUNCAN, 20.Giordano COLLI, 23.Mitch OXBORROW, 25.Matt HATCH, 29.Darryl LACHMAN, 30.Pierce CLARK (GK), 37.Jacob MUIR, 77.Stefan COLAKOVSKI

Unavailable: 1.Brad JONES (GK) (injured), 13.Cameron COOK (GK) (injured), 21.Antonee BURKE-GILROY (injured), 22.Adrian SARDINERO (injured)

(picture courtesy of Estybs Photo)