There’s a new coach in Perth but it was the same old result for Glory at the weekend when it played out a lifeless 0-0 draw with Adelaide United last weekend. Interim coach Kenny Lowe is there after the sacking of Alistair Edwards, but Glory continues to fire blanks in front of goal and the men in purple have been kept scoreless in three of their last four games. Only the abysmal Melbourne Heart has scored less goals than the West Australians this season.
One of the issues has been the absence of Shane Smeltz who has played just five games all season, and in that time he has only had one shot on goal. Veteran defender William Gallas (calf), Scott Jamieson (Achilles) and winger Ryo Nagai (hamstring) are also on the sidelines at the moment. Nagai is one of only three players in the squad who have scored more than one goal this campaign.
Another team struggling is Central Coast . The Mariners have won four of their 11 starts this year, and their away form has been dreadful. Their home record has kept them in touch with the top half of the table with all three wins at Bluetongue Stadium coming by a score of 1-0 , and they’ve taken seven of a possible nine points from their last three games in Gosford.
New Zealander Michael McGlinchey is off to join Graham Arnold at Vegalty Sendai early next year, but he is available for this match. He scored in the Mariners’ 2-1 win at nib Stadium earlier this season. One player who has come back from Asia is former star Bernie Ibini who is with the club for the next few months after returning from the Chinese Super League. Ibini’s father passed away in November which led his Shanghai-based club to allow him to stay on loan at the club until June after he has spent the past few weeks in Sydney.
Ibini scored the winner in Central Coast’s 1-0 win over Glory in the New Year’s Eve clash last season. The Mariners have dominated this match-up throughout the A-League winning 14 and losing just five. Perth has never won in Gosford during the regular season and the home side has won the last four encounters at Bluetongue. In its last five visits Glory has been held scoreless on four occasions.
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