The roles of these two sides have reversed in the space of 12 months as Perth Glory aim to claw back some ground on runaway Hyundai A-League leaders Sydney FC.
After 18 matches of the 2018/19 season, Tony Popovic’s Glory were the side setting the standards while running up a seven-point advantage at the top of the competition ladder.
Steve Corica’s third-placed Sydney were doing their best to play catch-up having fallen off the pace earlier in the campaign, but we all know how that story ended – with the Sky Blues toppling the Western Australians on their own soil in the Grand Final.
The reigning Premiers still have not extracted any revenge from that pain-staking night at Optus Stadium and Sydney dug the knife in deeper with a 3-1 triumph at HBF Park in Round 7.
Now back in fourth place following a 3-2 loss against Melbourne City last week, Glory need a spark to build some momentum as they head towards the Finals Series seeking to avenge last year’s heartache.
A statement win over Sydney would be a step in the right direction, although another crushing loss would leave doubts over their Championship aspirations. Similarly, three points for the 10-point leaders would keep them looking indestructible heading towards the business end of the season.
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To be confirmed on Thursday.
Did you know?
- Sydney FC have won 12 of their last 13 Hyundai A-League matches against Perth Glory (L1), they have scored an average of 2.8 goals per game in that span.
- Glory will be out to avoid back-to-back defeats away from home in the Hyundai A-League for the first time since losing five on the bounce from December 2017 to February 2018 after a 2-1 loss to Newcastle Jets in their last away game.
- The Sky Blues have scored the opening goal of the game on 13 occasions this Hyundai A-League season – the most of any team – and have gone on to pick up 12 wins and one draw from those fixtures.
- Sydney FC are the only Hyundai A-League team against whom Glory skipper Diego Castro has played more than once and is yet to score a goal (13 games). In fact, he’s neither scored a goal nor made an assist against the Sky Blues in the competition and created just 1.2 scoring chances per game against them.
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