Match Preview: “We’ve shown we can go toe-to-toe with Victory” – Epakis

WWL - Melbourne City v Glory - Tijan McKenna on the ball -

Glory Head Coach Alex Epakis believes his side can take heart from their previous performance against Melbourne Victory when they renew acquaintances with the navy-and-whites at Epping Stadium on Sunday (kick-off at 1.05pm WST).

Victory edged home 1-0 when the sides met at Dorrien Gardens barely a fortnight ago, Annalie Longo’s second-half goal eventually deciding a hard-fought contest in favour of Jeff Hopkins’ side.

But Epakis saw enough from his charges that night to be confident that they have what it takes to dent Victory’s top-four hopes by claiming what would be their first win of a challenging campaign.

“The last four weeks have all been unfinished business because we’ve had the opportunity to do the business and get goals and get the result and we haven’t been able to see it out,” he said.

“Our previous match against Victory in particular, was probably our most inspired performance and in reality, we were very disappointed to walk away with nothing.

“So the girls know what we’re capable of against that team.

“They’re a good team, but we’ve shown that we can go toe-to-toe with them and I think they have the belief that if they produce another performance like that, anything is possible.”

Glory endured another narrow defeat in midweek, this time at the hands of Melbourne City and once again, Epakis felt that a combination of youthful naivety and the lack of a clinical attacking edge ultimately proved costly.

“Thursday night, from a performance point of view, was positive at times,” he said.

“We just lacked that experience and killer instinct in front of goal because we created chances which could and should have put us in front and potentially won us the game.

“And then we showed just a little bit of inexperience when we switched off and conceded goals.

“Would I say the overall performance was another step in the right direction? Yes.

“But there is still a long way to.

“That said, it sets us up well for our final game on Sunday.

“While we haven’t had a win yet and we’re all desperately craving that result, we know that for that to happen, we need to have another strong performance and take the chances that we’re creating.

“Hopefully some players will seize the opportunity to do that.”

The game is a vital one for the hosts who currently sit one point outside the top four with two games left to play and they will be out to maintain a superb run of form which has seen them pick up five wins from their last six games.

Victory have claimed the points in four of the last five meetings with Glory, but overall, the sides are locked at ten wins apiece.

Match Details

Sunday, 28 March 2021

Melbourne Victory v Perth Glory

Epping Stadium, Epping

Kick-Off: 1:05pm (WST)(4:05pm (Local))

Referee: Rebecca Mackie

Assistant Referee 1: Laura Moya

Assistant Referee 2: Anastasia Filacouridis

Fourth Official: Caitlin Williams

TV Broadcast:  Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 506 from 1:00pm (WST), ABC TV from 4:00pm (AEDT), Sky Sport 8 (New Zealand), Kayo Sports (www.kayosports.com.au) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers

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

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

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Gabby GARTON, 2.Tiffany ELIADIS, 3.Claudia BUNGE, 4.Natalie MARTINEAU, 5.Gabe MARZANO, 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, 19.Lia PRIVITELLI, 20.Mel MAIZELS, 30.MelindaJ BARBIERI

**2 to be omitted**

 In: 9.Catherine ZIMMERMAN (return from injury), 19.Lia PRIVITELLI (return from suspension)

Out: Nil

Unavailable: 6.Natalie TATHEM (knee – season)

Perth Glory squad: 1.Lily ALFELD (gk), 2.Sarah CARROLL, 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, 14.Caitlin DOEGLAS, 16.Isabella WALLHEAD, 17.Marianna TABAIN, 20.Rebecca BENNETT (gk), 23.Katarina JUKIC

 Ins: Nil

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 3.Gemma CRAINE (hamstring – season)