Perth Glory ready to perform on the big stage | TWG
In Season 5 there has only been one match between these two teams and it was Perth who banked the three points in Round 1. A lot has happened since then.
Melbourne has had twelve coaches, Carly Telford and Jess Fishlock have come and gone for different reasons and last years premiers missed the cut altogether. It’s been an amazing and competitive W-League season and it’s unlikely to stop now.
Perth like to score goals and lead the league with an average of just over 2.8 per game. Look for wow moments from Golden Boot Gill, TWG Player of the Year nominee De Vanna, Sutton and Tabain who can all score and cause trouble. Shutting down all four players will be a tough ask but Victory have the best defence in the league. This will be an interesting match up that will have many of us feeling a little ill and excited all at the same time (stay away from spicy foods).
Home field advantage is a cushion for Perth but they have to be mindful of letting that cushion become a crutch (aka Sam Stosur’s performances in the Australian Open). Sam has great big guns though so I wasn’t worried about her until @ChicasFoto tweeted and jinxed her.
Perth have not lost to any of the finalists this year. In fact, it’s been such a dramatic turnaround from last season (remember an 11-0 thumping at the hands of Sydney FC), one could be forgiven for feeling a little happy for them getting into the finals. That’s as happy as I want to get for them though. Best wishes and all that.
As a team, Perth have no finals experience and it’s a different game. They’re new to this and will have a steep learning curve on the difference between regular season games and the pointy end. Melbourne have been there before (three consecutive semi final appearance) and will be very keen to go further.
With the injury to Telford, comparatively inexperienced Goalkeeper [Savage or Palandri]? will have to play the game of her life to stop Melbourne’s goalscorers. First McDonald will come at you, then Spiranovic’s strength and speed will counter the shirt tugging, Larsson will hit hard from far away and pesky Barilla will be a mini-road-runner and all you will see is a blur. Meep. Meep.
Lisa De Vanna (Forward) - Expect Lisa Devanna, with nicely rested legs and refreshed focus, to dominate the forward line with her speed and skill and create nothing but trouble for Bri Davey and Co. Stott and Ruyter-Hooley will struggle with Devanna’s pace but Devanna will have to jump as high as Jess Fishlock to win the ball from the air. Jess won’t be coming by the way in case I had anyone worried. She still isn’t answering my tweets.
Colllette McCallum (Midfielder) - Without a doubt, Collette McCallum is the best midfielder in the league. That’s what I’ve heard anyway. I’ve haven’t seen her play this season, either because the matches haven’t been televised or because Perth have only played Melbourne once, in Perth over 3000km away from where I live. McCallum is a smart footballer and technically one of the top players around. Personally I prefer her wearing green and gold than that purple outfit, although she may look alright in navy blue and Melbourne quite likes Scottish (and Welsh) people.
Sasha Andrews (Defender) - Canadian import Sasha Andrews is the centre of calm for Perth in defence. Poise, strength and height will keep Victory wondering how to break through. It will be quite a battle that neither team will shy away from.