Glory’s home is where the Heart is

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Melbourne Heart travel to Perth’s NIB Stadium this Sunday to take on the Glory in their first home game of the season.

Perth coming off a very positive week, after signing of former-French International and Premier League winner, William Gallas.

Gallas who spent a decade in England with Chelsea, Arsenal and Tottenham – not to mention a playing at multiple World Cups for Les Bleus, may arrive within the next week and could be ready for their round 5 clash against Wellington Phoenix.

“After speaking to Alistair Edwards and Jason Brewer, the passion and ambition in the voices of both gentlemen enticed me to this new challenge in Australia. I look forward to wearing with pride the Jersey of Perth Glory for this season” said the Frenchman.

The Glory will be focusing on nothing but Heart this weekend and grabbing the 3 points. After a first round 3-1 loss to Adelaide and last week’s 0-0 draw to Newcastle, the Perth side will be looking for their first win of the season, and what better setting than in front of their home fans in their brand new stadium.

This will be the first outing for Glory with their stadium completely finished. Perth players Jacob Burns, Danny Vukovic and Steve McGarry have been tweeting their excitement and are all impressed with the new stadium and surface.

Perth are boosted by the return of regular centre back Michael Thwaite (returning from hamstring injury) and Ryo Nagai who has recovered from his groin strain which ruled him out of last week’s game against the Jets.

While right back Josh Risdon will miss the next 3 months after injuring his knee during the clash with the Jets, which may give young Matty Davies (18 yo) his first start in the A-League and chance to become a regular in place of Risdon.

Heart will have to battle without their captain  Harry Kewell for the second consecutive week as he is still recovering from the whiplash he suffered during the Melbourne Derby.

Both teams have put in impressive displays of football in their opening two games which should make for an entertaining match, especially as both sides will be looking for their first 3 points of the season.

Glory will look to create attacking chances, and to have the composure in front of goal which they’ve lacked in recent weeks. Young players are starting to step up in the side as they grow in each game as the season progresses – a belief of  Alistair Edwards and his coaching staff.

Perth Glory have handed out 5,000 free tickets to all junior clubs around Perth to encourage the fans to come out in numbers to support their team this Sunday. A bumper crowd is expected – new players, new stadium and new era, also a beautiful and sunny 26 degrees day. Can’t wait for this one!

Kick off is at 2pm WST.

Perth Glory Squad: 1.Daniel VUKOVIC (GK), 2.Jack CLISBY, 3.Brandon O’NEILL, 4.Ryan EDWARDS, 5.Steve PANTELIDIS, 6.Cameron EDWARDS, 7.Jacob BURNS (c), 8.Ryo NAGAI, 10.Jamie MACLAREN, 11.Adrian ZAHRA, 14.Steven McGARRY, 16.Sidnei SCIOLA MORAES, 17.Chris HAROLD, 18.Jack DUNCAN, 20.Daniel DE SILVA, 21.Scott JAMIESON, 23.Michael THWAITE, 24.Matthew DAVIES
**Two to be omitted**

Ins: 24.Matthew DAVIES (promoted), 8.Ryo NAGAI (promoted), 23.Michael THWAITE (promoted)
Outs: 19.Joshua RISDON (knee, 8 weeks)
Unavailable: 9.Shane SMELTZ (hip – 2 weeks), 13.Travis DODD (knee – ongoing), 15.Isaka CERNAK (hip – 2 weeks), 19.Joshua RISDON (knee, 8 weeks)

Melbourne Heart FC Squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 3.Robbie WIELAERT (C), 5.Sam MITCHINSON, 6.Patrick GERHARDT, 7.Iain RAMSAY, 8.Massimo MURDOCCA, 11.Michael MIFSUD, 14.Golgol MEBRAHTU, 15.David WILLIAMS, 16.Aziz BEHICH, 17.Jason HOFFMAN, 19.Benjamin GARUCCIO, 20.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 21.Stefan MAUK , 22.Nick KALMAR, 23.Mate DUGANDZIC, 24.Patrick KISNORBO, 25.Andrea MIGLIORINI
***Two to be omitted***

Ins: 11.Michael MIFSUD (returns from international duty with Malta), 5.Sam MITCHINSON (promoted)
Outs: Nil
Unavailable: 4.Orlando ENGELAAR (Fractured tibia – long-term), 9.Dylan MACALLISTER (Hamstring – 3-6 weeks), 10.Harry Kewell (whiplash – undisclosed), 13.Jonatan GERMANO (Hamstring – three weeks)

Ella Mastrantonio

Ella is Football Central's Perth Glory correspondent.  Ella has a direct connection with the club as she is a part of the current W-League squad which in turn allows her a unique perspective of the club as a whole.  Her passion for writing is the reason for taking on this role. Ella is an accomplished footballer in her own right. Started playing at five years of age in her brother's team, played mixed/all boys until U/12's for Phoenix Park J.S.C and Fremantle Spirit. Then Alistair Edwards discovered her which opened the door to representative selections. Following her selection for the U/17's Australian team and progressing to the U/20's Australian squad at 15, Ella made her senior Matilda's debut at 16.

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