Western United will bring an end to the 2022/23 Isuzu UTE A-League Men regular season, taking on Perth Glory on Saturday night.
Isuzu UTE A-League Men Round 26
Perth Glory vs Western United
Saturday, 29 April
Kick-off: 10:00pm AEST (8:00pm local time)
HBF Park, Perth
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live on Paramount+
John Aloisi has named his extended squad with no further outs from last week’s matchday squad, although Tongo Doumbia will not play after pulling up with a calf injury in the warm-up on Saturday.
Alessandro Diamanti and Nikolai Topor-Stanley will bring an end to their storied careers and hope to go out on a high, while Jamie Young is line to reach 200 appearances in the Isuzu UTE A-League.
Western United squad: 1. Jamie YOUNG (gk), 4. Leo LACROIX, 5. Dylan PIERIAS, 6. Tomoki IMAI, 8. Lachie WALES, 9. Michael RUHS, 10. Steven LUSTICA, 11. Connor PAIN, 14. James TROISI, 17. Ben GARUCCIO, 19. Josh RISDON, 21. Sebastian PASQUALI, 23. Alessandro DIAMANTI (c), 27. Jacob TRATT, 31. Adisu BAYEW, 37. Ryan SCOTT (gk) 38. Noah BOTIC, 44. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 88. Neil KILKENNY, 99. Aleksandar PRIJOVIC
Last time out
Western United fell to a 3-1 defeat in its final home match of the season against Melbourne City at AAMI Park last weekend.
Dylan Pierias scored a lovely goal to equalise just before half-time but City seized control in the second period with two unanswered goals.
Western United has lost only twice in nine outings against Perth Glory, winning six times and drawing once.
The Green and Black has enjoyed some of its best games against Perth in the past, including a 5-4 thriller in 2020/21 and a 6-0 thumping last season.
United has never beaten the Glory in Perth, though, with both defeats coming in Western Australia so Aloisi will be eager to turn that record around and end the season on a high.
Key Matchup: Mark Beevers vs Noah Botic
Since keeping a clean sheet against Melbourne Victory, Perth have conceded eight goals in their last two games so United will be eager to put pressure on the Glory’s back line.
Noah Botic hasn’t started the last two games and will be hoping to jump back into the starting XI and cause Perth problems, just as he did in the last meeting.
The No.38’s last goal, and arguably his best of the season, came against Perth in a 2-1 win in Ballarat. After a beautiful bit of chest control from Lachie Wales’ cross, Botic provided a devastating volleyed finish to give United the lead just before the break.
Experienced Englishman Mark Beevers has been a constant feature for Perth and a valuable addition to the backline, so he will be hoping to marshal the troops at the back and stop United’s attackers from having regular chances on goal.
Depending on results elsewhere, the winner of this match would sneak into finals with a healthy goal difference swing, so Botic and co. will be keen to find the net early to keep the hopes alive.
Player to Watch: Sebastian Pasquali
After making his first start in almost two years, Sebastian Pasquali will be one to watch again as he hopes to make it back to back appearances in the starting XI.
The young midfielder has featured in five straight matches, catching the eye with his technical ability and defensive strength in midfield.
With Doumbia out injured, Pasquali could be likely to line up from the start again and will hope to put in another solid performance to round up a positive end to the season for himself.
Words from John Aloisi
On the response from the players after last week’s defeat
“At the beginning of the week, the players were a little bit disappointed in the result against City because we thought we played really well for 60 minutes.
“But then after that they got over that disappointment, and our focus is on Perth and doing well there. In football, you just never know what can happen.”
On potentially going all-out attack to chase goal difference against Perth
“It has been discussed. If the goal difference is important, we know it needs to be a lot of goals. It’s more or less having that belief and understand that we can create chances and score goals.”