Sunday, April 3 from 7pm at NIB Stadium, Perth – watch on Fox Sports
THE top-of-the-table Melbourne City travel to Perth to face the fifth-placed Glory in round 26 of the A-League.
City were fabulous on Easter Monday, sweeping the Phoenix aside in a 3-0 rout without their key play maker Aaron Mooy, who was away on international duty.
The win was even more special given that striker Bruno Fornaroli’s brace saw him set a new league record for goals scored in a single season.
Their Eastern Monday success took Melbourne City to the top of the A-League table, with a superior goal difference to the Brisbane Roar.
Mooy – who played a key role to help Australia secure progression through to the next stage of the World Cup qualifiers – said he was proud of his team’s efforts.
“It makes me very happy that City won, it’s what we needed. We need to win our games from now on pretty much, if we want to get silverware, that’s the aim,” Mooy said.
“I watched the second half, because we had dinner, so I couldn’t get the full game, but I watched the second half and they played really well, I’m very happy, good to get back.”
The 25-year-old Socceroo believes the confidence that is surging through the squad right now will hold them in good stead heading into one of the most unpredictable finals series in A-League history.
“Every player takes confidence when they’re playing well for their club team, it helps you when you get selected for the national team.
“It’s good to go into camp feeling confident and I’m feeling confident and happy.
“I’ve got to finish off the season as best as I can and the team can.”
The Perth Glory kept their meteoric rise towards the top of the table going with a gutsy 2-1 away win against the Newcastle Jets last week.
The Glory led by 2-0 heading into stoppage time but had a few shaky moments in stoppage time after conceding a penalty and a red card just after the 90 minutes.
The win was Perth’s fifth victory in a row.
Glory coach Kenny Lowe believes his team needs to keep the fighting mentality that they have displayed throughout the year if they are to keep their incredible rise from cellar dwellers to title contenders rolling.
“We just go game-to-game,” Lowe said.
“I keep saying it, but that’s what we do. We just focus on Melbourne next week, see where it takes us.
“We’re starting to inch up the league, not that I look at it a great deal, but you’re getting to the business end of the year.
Lowe believes that the Glory are one of the most difficult match ups in the league today.
“We’re an awkward team to play against. We don’t give anything away.
We’re very competitive and very well organised. So you throw in the little X-factor with Castro, Keogh and maybe Nebo, and we’re always going to be dangerous, so fingers crossed we can keep it going.”
The task will not be easy for City heading across to Perth.
Perth Glory have won their last four matches at home, outscoring opponents 15-5 and keeping a clean sheet in the last two of those matches.
Odds provided by Sportsbet.com.au
Winner:Draw – $3.50
First goal scorer: Bruno Fornaroli – $5.00
Correct score: Draw 1-1 – $8.00
Both teams are bringing fantastic form into the match and will be confident they have what it takes to secure the win to finish off round 26.
The big question facing the Glory will be the availability of City talisman Aaron Mooy.
If Mooy is able to slot back into the line-up after a tough schedule with the Socceroos he could be the difference.
If he is unable to start, the advantage goes to the Glory.
Three of the last five match ups between the two sides have ended in a draw and we are predicting that outcome on Sunday.
A-League specials and promotions for round 26
Money back specials across round 26 in the A-League
William Hill are continuing to run their multi insurance across the 26th weekend of A-League.
Place a four or more leg multi across the weekend, and if one leg fails, you get your cash back – up to $50.
Sportsbet are offering cash back up to $100 if your four or more leg multi bet on the A-league this weekend has only one leg that fails.
Crownbet have come to the party in the 26th week of A-League action with a great multi insurance bonus bet special.
Place a four or more legged multi across this weekend and if all your selections but one is successful you get a bonus bet up to the value of your stake – maximum of $50.