Thursday’s A-League 2017 Round 14 match is between Perth Glory and Wellington Phoenix. The opening kick off is set to commence at 21:00 local time with the game to be played at nib Stadium. The home team Perth Glory is the short priced favourite for the match. View our preview and teams for the game between Perth Glory and Wellington Phoenix.
The ‘Distance Derby’ will again be in Perth, so it’s the Phoenix players who will have to manage the long travel requirements once more.
From my own experience, the effects of long flights and travel can be hard to predict. Sometimes you do everything right but still feel flat or fatigued during the match while other times, the effects are minimal.
But there’s no doubt the advantage is with the home side in this particular derby.
Perth won 2-0 in the Round 2 encounter v Phoenix, but they’re playing a different side this time round.
Diego Castro and Nebojsa Marinkovic got the goals that day but the stats were fairly even with Glory having 16 shots on goal to Wellington’s 12 and just shading possession 54 per cent to 46 per cent.
Phoenix drew 0-0 with Adelaide on Sunday, their third draw in a row but they’re unbeaten in four games so will feel confident of getting something out of the match.
KEY BATTLE: Adam Taggart v Roy Krishna
Taggart scored against Wanderers last week and will want to add to his tally while Krishna has been a standout for Phoenix this season.
Playing at home, Taggart will shine and keep building his relationship with Andy Keogh up front.
Both teams have been drawing quite a lot of games of late, the last two weekends included. I don’t see a change to that pattern here.
Perth at $2.20
Draw at $3.70
Wellington at $3.15
Tip: Perth Glory at $2.10
Value Bet: First Goal Scorer: D Castro at $7.50
Correct Score: Perth Glory 2-0 at $12.00
Perth Glory Squad: 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Marc WARREN, 4.Shane LOWRY, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.Rostyn GRIFFITHS (c), 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC, 13.Nicholas FEELY (gk), 14.Chris HAROLD, 16.Joe MILLS 17.Diego CASTRO, 19.Josh RISDON, 20.Aryn WILLIAMS, 21.Jamal REINERS, 22.Adam TAGGART, 23.Kosta PETRATOS, 24.Milan SMILJANIC, 33.Liam REDDY (gk).
Wellington Phoenix Squad: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Jacob TRATT, 4.Roly BONEVACIA, 5.Ryan LOWRY, 7.Gui FINKLER, 8, Alex RODRIGUEZ, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 11.Hamish WATSON, 12.Adam PARKHOUSE, 13.Marco ROSSI, 16.Louis FENTON, 19.Tom DOYLE, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 21 Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 24 Logan ROGERSON, 99.Shane SMELTZ.
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Josh McGuire could play lock: Matt Gillett
Josh McGuire wouldn’t look out of place in Brisbane’s No.13 NRL jersey according to second-rower Matt Gillett.
Brisbane are on the lookout for a replacement for workhorse Corey Parker after the veteran retired at the end of last season.
Youngster Jai Arrow has widely been touted as the man most likely to fill Parker’s shoes, after coming off the bench for the majority of the second half of last season.
However front-rower McGuire, who has started at lock just once since making his NRL debut in 2009, indicated at the end of last year he could be another option for the role.
And Gillett said on Wednesday there would be no reason why McGuire couldn’t make a home for himself at 13.
“He does like to play a lot of minutes and loves that game time,” he said.
“He’s pretty fit as well so no doubt if Josh does play in the No.13 it will suit him fine.
“He’s more than happy to put his hand up for it.”
Potential captain-in-waiting Darius Boyd also gave McGuire his stamp of approval to take on a more senior role in the forward pack.
McGuire spent the early half of the pre-season as one of the Broncos’ most senior players while Boyd, Gillett and Sam Thaiday only returned to training on Wednesday.
“He’s someone that can lead by example. He probably doesn’t say a lot on the field but he goes out there and does his job like Cozza did as well,” Boyd said.
Meanwhile Gillett expects to take on a more senior role in the pack in 2017 as they look to overcome the loss of Parker, who averaged 27 tackles and 115m per game last year.
Gillett, 28, also played with a question mark over his future for the majority of last year, but has since signed a four-year deal to all but ensure he remains a one-club player.
“It’s a massive relief,” he said.
“I can just concentrate on football and not have to worry about that stuff in the back of my mind.”