The second of Sydney’s trio of A-League games this week takes place at Allianz Stadium on Thursday night when Sydney FC host table topping Perth Glory. The Sky Blues can go top themselves – temporarily at least – with a win, while Perth will be looking to establish a gap to the chasing pack.
Sydney FC are still unbeaten in the league after eight games, although on the balance of play they could easily have lost the Sydney Derby at the weekend. Graham Arnold would have been thankful for Bernie Ibini’s wonder goal for keeping scores level at half time, and some tactical alterations by the coach for the second period kept the Wanderers at bay.
The Sky Blues’ squad depth is beginning to be tested following serious knee injuries to Corey Gameiro and Ali Abbas. While the loss of Gameiro is a blow, after he carried his goal scoring form from pre-season into the A-League, Sydney do at least have plenty of other options in attack.
The absence of Abbas may in fact cause a greater problem for Arnold, as the Iraqi was his most experienced option at left back. Rhyan Grant and Peter Triantis can provide suitable cover for Abbas’ occasional central midfield duties, having themselves made comebacks from long term injuries.
Before the season got underway there would not have been many tipping Perth Glory to lead the A-League nearly a third of the way into the campaign. A second game on the east coast in five days will test Perth’s durability, but the addition of the likes of Andy Keogh and Youssef Hersi ensure that Glory are considered a serious contender for this year’s title.
Thursday 4th December, Allianz Stadium Moore Park 19:30
Sydney FC v Perth Glory
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