The reigning champions need to win their remaining four regular season matches and hope absolutely everything goes their way with the teams above them to sneak into the top six but the likelihood is that their season is over from a finals viewpoint.
Vitezslav Lavicka can basically look to the Asian Champions League campaign and will be tinkering with different things ahead of that competition which kicks off in March.
He has brought a trio of youngsters (Brendan Gan, Kofi Danning and Rhyan Grant) into the squad along with youth team goalkeeper Dylan Mitchell who will sit on the bench as Liam Reddy undergoes a two-match suspension.
That suggests that the Czech tactician wants to get as much game time in to the young players in his roster to give them confidence if they are to be called on during the ACL.
In the Glory camp, Ian Ferguson’s men just cannot crack it for a win, drawing three and losing their last two as they sit second bottom on the table, three points behind the Sky Blues.
A horror season for the Western Australians can only get better with a few wins in their last three games and this fixture is one that they will be looking to produce maximum points in.
They get back skipper Jacob Burns, striker Robbie Fowler and attacking midfielders Adriano Pellegrino and Victor Sikora which are four massive ins and if there was ever a time to give the home fans something to cheer about, tonight is that time.
But I feel that Sydney are in better form, being just a whisker away from defeating second-placed Central Coast Mariners last week whilst the Glory lost 4-0 to the Wellington Phoenix. That should give the Sky Blues enough confidence to edge tonight’s opponents in a close one.
Verdict: Sydney 2-1
Perth Glory vs. Sydney FC
Date: Saturday, 29 Jan 2011
Venue: nib Stadium, Perth
Local kick-off: 6:45pm (9:45pm AEDT)
Referee: Gerard Parsons
Head-to-Head: All matches (played 17): Perth Glory wins 4, Sydney FC wins 7 (6 draws)
Match fact: Sydney FC defender Stephan Keller is set to make his 50th Hyundai A-League appearance.
Perth Glory squad: 1. Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Josh MITCHELL, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 8.Victor SIKORA, 9.Robbie FOWLER, 11.Branko JELIC, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 13.Tommy AMPHLETT, 14.Steven McGARRY, 15.Howard FONDYKE, 16.Adriano PELLEGRINO, 17. Todd HOWARTH, 18.Brent GRIFFITHS, 19. Naum SEKULOVSKI, 20. Alex PEARSON (gk), 21.Mile STERJOVSKI, 24. Josh RISDON, 26. Adam TAGGART *three to be omitted*
In: Jacob BURNS, Victor SIKORA (promoted), Robbie FOWLER (returns from injury), Adriano PELLEGRINO (returns from suspension)
Out: 27.Cameron EDWARDS
Unavailable: 5.Jamie HARNWELL (suspended – 1 game), 6.Chris COYNE (Achilles – season)
Sydney FC squad: 2. Sebastian RYALL, 3. Stephan KELLER, 6. Hirofumi MORIYASU, 7. Brendan GAN, 8. Stuart MUSIALIK, 9. Bruno CAZARINE, 10. Nick CARLE, 11. Kofi DANNING, 12. Shannon COLE, 15. Terry MCFLYNN (c), 17. Matt JURMAN, 18. Juho MAKELA, 20. Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 21. Scott JAMIESON, 22. Sung-Hwan BYUN, 23, Rhyan GRANT, 24. Dimitri PETRATOS, 30.Dylan MITCHELL (gk) *three to be omitted*
In: Brendan GAN, Kofi DANNING, Rhyan GRANT (all promoted), 30.Dylan MITCHELL (gk)
Out: Liam REDDY (suspended – 2 matches)
Unavailable: Hayden FOXE (groin – 2 weeks), Mark BRIDGE (stomach – 1 week), Alex BROSQUE (groin – 1 week), Terry ANTONIS (knee – 3 weeks)