Looking ahead: the run home


Well this is it, the final round of the season before we get into the cutthroat finals series. So here is the final part of the Reds’ run home.

The Run Home
Well this is it, the final round of the season before we get into the cutthroat finals series. So here is the final part of the Reds- run home.

Current points: 40 (4th)

30 Mar v Perth Glory – away

Run-in of the other top four teams
Western Sydney Wanderers (1st – 54 points)

29 Mar v Newcastle Jets – away

Central Coast Mariners (2nd – 51 points)
30 Mar v Melbourne Heart – home

Melbourne Victory (3rd – 41 points)
31 Mar v Wellington Phoenix – away

Current Form
Last five matches – D L W D L
Last three home matches – L D L
Last three away matches – L D W

Race for the finals
Rather than try to go into all of the permutations of what can unfold in the final weekend of the regular season, we thought we would just attach a link to Andrew Howe-s rundown of how the possibilities of who can finish where and how it could happen. Click here for the story.

Player availability
For the trip to Perth to face the Glory, Coach Michael Valkanis will welcome back captain Eugene Galekovic from Socceroos duty, while Argentinean playmaker Marcelo Carrusca and Osama Malik could also make the travelling party. An eighth yellow card of the season means defender Nigel Boogaard is unavailable through suspension, with Antony Golec coming into contention to take his place alongside Iain Fyfe.

On the positive
A home elimination final awaits the Reds next Sunday regardless of the result against the Glory, although Valkanis would like nothing better than to go into next week on the back of a win. On another positive, the Glory will be missing three of their key players in Travis Dodd and Shane Smeltz (both through injury), while midfielder Liam Miller is suspended.

On the negative
The Reds- last three trips to nib Stadium have failed to yield a point, although one has to go back to October 2011 for the last time United played in Perth. The only other thing, which is a warning rather than a negative, is how much this clash means to the Glory in the context of their season. The Reds will need to match their opponents in the intensity and ‘want- stakes.

In short
Saturday night-s match shapes as an early grand final for Perth Glory as they know a win would see them sneak into the top six regardless of other results. A draw could also be enough depending on Thursday night-s result between Brisbane Roar and Sydney FC. With so much on the line for the Glory, Reds striker Bruce Djite declared it will be the perfect finals dress rehearsal. With a massive pro Glory crowd expected in the west due to the opening of the new stand at nib Stadium and with so much riding on the result, Djite is undoubtedly spot on the money when he says it will reveal where the Reds are at and what they are made of.

Statistics heading into Round 27
Team (ranking in the league)

Goals Scored – 37 (5th)
Goals Conceded – 33 (5th)*
Total Shots – 308 (8th)
Total Shots ON Target – 132 (8th)
Total Shots Conceded – 371 (8th)*
Effective Tackles – 672 (4th)
Total Fouls Conceded – 326 (3rd)*

Player (total)
Leading Goal Scorer – 9 Dario Vidosic (=6th)
Most Goal Assists – 6 Vidosic, Carrusca (=5th)
Most Shots at Goal – 66 Vidosic (5th)
Goalkeeper Saves – 81 Eugene Galekovic (=1st)
Clean Sheets – 8 Galekovic (=3rd)
Effective Tackles – 87 Cassio (5th)

* lowest total is ranked highest
All statistics provided by Sportsdata