Melbourne City will be fresh and ready to fire following last week’s bye ahead of Friday night’s clash against Perth Glory.
Having won five of its first seven fixtures, Melbourne City entered last round on top of the table but a Sydney FC away win over Western United now sees City sit second.
City's host start to the season has coincided with the form of striker Jamie Maclaren, who has netted nine goals in four matches.
He has scored multiple goals in every game he’s played, including a brace in City’s most recent outing, a 3-2 win over the Wanderers away from home a fortnight ago. City's depth and versatility has been on show during the period that Maclaren missed through injury, as the striker's teammates stepped up in his absence.
It’s been a tough start to the season for Tony Popovic’s Perth Glory, who has won just one of its first seven matches.
This win came back in Round 3 against the Phoenix in Wellington, with Glory having picked up just one point in the games since.
Perth also travelled to AAMI Park last week where they took on Melbourne Victory, going down 1-0 thanks to a Robbie Kruse goal.
Despite sitting 11th on the table, the Glory are not to be underestimated with the firepower upfront of Chris Ikonomidis and former City striker Bruno Fornaroli more than capable of causing headaches for City’s defence.
Glory’s defence has also been sound for a lot of the season and has conceded less goals than City’s.
With attacking firepower at both ends, we're set for a blockbuster clash under Friday night lights.
Last time they met
These teams last met in Round 21 of last season and shared the points in an entertaining 2-2 draw at AAMI Park. Maclaren scored a first half brace and had the home side sitting comfortably 2-0 up at half time, but Joel Chianese’s 84th minute header gave the visitors hope before Diego Castro completed the comeback in injury time.
Two key inclusions headline this week's team news. See who's in and who's out here.
What was said
Melbourne City defender Harrison Delbridge
"We're aware of their attacking threats and know the importance of shutting down their players. This team has the confidence to battle through results despite having our backs against the wall. We've shown that on a couple of occasions this season already."
After having the bye last week and two away fixtures in the weeks prior, City returns to AAMI Park for the first time since a 3-1 victory over Central Coast in early November. The clash against Perth will kick off at 7:30pm this Friday night and you can get your tickets here!