Match Preview: Upbeat Glory raring to back up against City

Head Coach Richard Garcia has confirmed that his Glory players are raring to get back into the fray against Melbourne City at AAMI Park on Wednesday (kick-off at 4.45pm WST).

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The clash with last season’s double winners comes just three days after Glory’s impressive win over Melbourne Victory, meaning limited recovery and preparation time for the squad.

But Garcia believes his charges have the right attitude to go out and produce another high-quality performance in the Victorian capital.

“There’s a few that have pulled up a little bit sore, but after the victory the other night, they’re all keen to get back out there and go again,” he said.

“That’s part and parcel of football; you’ve got to back up.

“So it’ll be a good battle and it’s good that the lads are really up for it.”

City have made a mixed start to their title defence, mirroring Glory’s record of a win, a defeat and a draw in their opening three outings, but Garcia feels that they remain a force to be reckoned with.

“City have played well in both games that they dropped points in and have a lot of good players,” he said.

“Theirs is a very deep squad which makes it better for them.

“We know what we’re up against and the guns they do have going forward and it’s about us containing them and playing our game.”

In terms of team news, meanwhile, the Head Coach confirmed that Daniel Sturridge will not feature at AAMI Park, but that Callum Timmins is poised to make his return from a calf injury.

“Our plan was always to get him [Sturridge] some minutes at the back end of this trip,” he said, “so that looks more like Brisbane and Adelaide.

“He’s been put through his paces this week and we’re looking forward to him finding his feet in the team.

“We’re planning on, in the next few weeks, giving him 15-20 minutes here, 15-20 minutes there so he can build up and not come out of it with any problems.

“Once we do that, we’ll keep pushing forward from there on.

“We’re hoping to build up to the full 90 minutes in mid-January.”

Other than Timmins, none of the club’s other walking wounded are set to feature on Wednesday evening.

Andy Keogh (calf) and Osama Malik (groin) are expected to be out for another two weeks, Mitch Oxborrow (calf) will be sidelined for another three weeks, Liam Reddy (shoulder) is expected back within a month and Brad Jones (calf) is likely to return in late January.

Sixth-placed City won their opening game of the season against Brisbane Roar before fighting out a 2-2 draw with Adelaide United and then being downed 1-0 at home by Western United last time out.

Former Glory trio Scott Jamieson, Jamie Maclaren and Rostyn Griffiths are all expected to feature for the hosts who will be out to improve upon what is a poor record in this fixture.

Of the previous 18 meetings between the two sides at AAMI Park, Glory have won seven to City’s four.