There’s a sense of déjà vu about Sunday’s A-League elimination final at AAMI park where Melbourne City will host Perth Glory for the second time at this stage in two seasons.
Last season they won that elimination final 2-0 courtesy of two Bruno Fornaroli goals, one of which was a memorable bicycle kick. However since that match, Glory has had the edge over City this season in the league winning two and drawing one in their three meetings, the most recent being last week’s final round goal feast in Perth which the home team won 5-4.
City coach Michael Valkanis described that match as a crazy game, and has made all of the squad who travelled to Perth available with the addition of Daniel Arzani, and Ruon Tongyik, who is returning from illness. Ahead of Sunday’s match Valkanis said, “We’ve been very good at home and this season we have fought and battled away from home and the results haven’t gone our way. That’s something we’ll have to look at next season and review and see what we have to do better.
“Now we have a home final; our players love playing at home, our supporters will get behind us and I’m sure will become our 12th man and be right beside us to get over Perth.”
The coach will be hoping this won’t be his last as coach of the club. With Fornaroli and Cahill up front, he has forwards who can exploit Glory’s defensive weaknesses. But he’ll also need to find a way to curb the influence of Glory maestro Diego Castro whose assists have provided plenty of scoring opportunities to strikers Andy Keogh and Adam Taggart, so much so that Perth is second only to Sydney FC as the highest scoring team this season.
The winner of Sunday night’s match will go on to meet either Melbourne Victory or Sydney FC in a semi-final, depending on the result of Friday’s elimination final between Brisbane Roar and Western Sydney Wanderers.