Perth Glory host Western United on Monday in an A-League clash with huge play-off implications.
The race to finish in the top six is closely contested, with the two sides mentioned above now occupying the final two play-off spots as the end of the regular season looms.
Perth are currently enduring a four-game winless streak and defeat here could make it a nervous final few weeks as they seek to make the post-season. Western United, meanwhile, are ahead of Adelaide United on goal difference but could move to within just one point of Monday’s opponents with a victory.
Read on for our Perth Glory vs Western United preview, predictions, team news and TV coverage information.
Perth Glory vs Western United: Key details, TV & live stream info
Venue: HBF Park
Date: Monday, 23 March 2020
Kick-off: 10:30 AM (UK time)
TV coverage (UK): BT Sport ESPN
Online & live stream: Australian audiences can stream Perth Glory vs Western United live via Kayo, who are offering a free trial.
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Last five meetings: Perth Glory vs Western United
14/03/20: Sydney FC 0-0 Perth Glory (A-League)
08/03/20: Perth Glory 2-3 Melbourne City (A-League)
29/02/20: Newcastle Jets 2-1 Perth Glory (A-League)
22/02/20: Brisbane Roar 1-1 Perth Glory (A-League)
18/02/20: FC Tokyo 1-0 Perth Glory (AFC Champions League)
07/03/20: Adelaide United 1-5 Western United (A-League)
01/03/20: Western United 6-2 Central Coast Mariners (A-League)
21/02/20: Wellington Phoenix 2-0 Western United (A-League)
16/02/20: Western United 0-1 Brisbane Roar (A-League)
01/02/20: Newcastle Jets 0-0 Western United (A-League)
Ones to watch
Perth Glory: Diego Castro
Former Getafe winger Diego Castro has been one of the A-League’s most productive creators since joining Perth in 2015 and, last season, played a key role in the club topping the regular-season standings.
The Spaniard hasn’t let up in 2019/20 either, creating 49 chances in 18 appearances so far, the fourth-most in the A-League.
If Perth are to steady the ship and maintain their play-off berth, Castro’s creativity will be key.
Key stat: No player has provided more assists than Castro (7) in the A-League this season.
Western United: Besart Berisha
United have won their last two games, scoring 11 goals in the process. Former Albania and Kosovo international Besart Berisha has been right at the heart of that run, scoring four of those goals himself.
The 34-year-old has scored 15 times in the A-League so far this season – only Adam Le Fondre has more goals – and his hot-streak could prove key to United holding onto that final play-off spot between now and the end of the season.
Key stat: Berisha is the A-League’s all-time leading goalscorer with 127 strikes in 203 games.
Defensive midfielder Juande is one yellow card away from suspension. Further team news is yet to be confirmed and is due on Thursday.
Predicted XI: Reddy; Wuthrich, Mrcela, Grant; Franjic, Kilkenny, Juande, Meredith; Castro, Chianese, Fornaroli.
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Mark Rudan will be mindful of his side’s disciplinary issues, with Andrew Durante, Joshua Risdon and Connor Pain all on four yellow cards and just one more away from suspension. Further team news is yet to be confirmed and is due on Thursday.
Predicted XI: Kurto; Imai, Durante, Uskok; Risdon, Pasquali, Lustica, Pain; Burgess, Diamanti; Berisha.
Perth have been off-form in recent weeks and really need to steady the ship against Western United here, who are chasing close behind their hosts. However, with the league’s all-time top scorer coming to town in red-hot form, Tony Popovic’s men will have their work cut out.
A draw may be a safe bet between two evenly matched sides, a result which, in all honesty, probably suits both quite nicely.