With a week filled with off field drama and speculation you would be forgiven if it had slipped your mind that Sydney FC actually have an A-League match to play on Saturday night. Perth Glory are the visitors to Allianz Stadium with both sides in serious need of an upturn in form if they are to maintain a challenge for a place in the finals.
The attention surrounding Sydney this week has centred around ‘banner-gate’ and the walkout staged by The Cove after the confiscation of the offending signs. The ejection of prominent members of the fan group left the club with a delicate situation to deal with, but peace talks earlier this week appear to have calmed the situation and hopefully the fans will be back in their usual places at kick off.
Something that has not featured much in the many discussions going around about the direction that the Sky Blues are heading this season is the effect that their injury list has had on the campaign. They have not been able to call upon Terry Antonis or Peter Triantis so far this season, both of whom showed great improvement towards the end of last season. Joel Chianese and Terry McFlynn are among a number of players whose seasons have been disrupted by injury, along with the now departed Yairo Yau and Brett Emerton.
There is some relief on the horizon with Frank Farina confirming that Antonis will finally make his comeback against Perth, and that new signing Sasa Ognenovski will also start. It remains to be seen if Nick Carle and Matt Thompson retain their places in the squad having been banished from training this week for apparently ignoring instructions in the loss to Adelaide United
Perth are currently on a run of tough away games that looks to be taking its toll on Kenny Lowe’s side. The Glory will be drained after playing in hot conditions in Albury last Sunday, flying back to Perth and then back over to Sydney again for this fixture. Their season has been blighted by the unavailability of their marquee players, and if the likes of William Gallas and Shane Smeltz do not feature prominently in their remaining fixtures it is hard to see how the Glory can make the finals.
Saturday 15th February, Allianz Stadium Moore Park 17:30
Sydney FC v Perth Glory