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A-League: Sky Blues ready to back up statement win

Sydney FC will be looking to cement their top-six position when they head to HBF Park to take on Perth Glory, having secured a superb 2-0 win over Central Coast Mariners last time out.

Goals from Anthony Caceres and Joel King saw the Sky Blues send the reigning A-League champions crashing to a defeat which dealt a huge blow to their minor premiership hopes.

It also saw Sydney boost their finals chances, with a top-six finish now looking all but certain and a top-two spot still a possibility.

Glory, meanwhile, have gone five games without a win and are still in a battle to avoid ending up bottom of the ladder - they are just two points clear of Western United, who have only lost one of their last five.

. What: Perth Glory v Sydney FC
. Where: HBF Park, Perth
. When: 21:45, Wednesday 3rd April 2024
. How to watch: Paramount+
. Odds: Perth Glory 4.00, Draw 4.20, Sydney FC 1.88

Mariners win shows Sky Blues' potential

Sydney had gone eight games unbeaten before being edged out 2-1 at ladder leaders Wellington Phoenix, but they bounced back quickly by winning 2-0 at home to Central Coast last time out.

Caceres and substitute King both scored inside the final 20 minutes to down the Mariners and head coach Ufuk Talay was delighted with the overall performance, as he told reporters: "I'm in awe of the group of what they produced.

"We nullified them in every aspect of the game. We dominated from the first whistle to the end."

Talay has options for the trip to WA, with leading scorer Fabio Gomes having been used off the bench against both the Mariners and the Phoenix and perhaps pushing for a start.

However, his path back into the starting XI is currently being blocked by Slovak Robert Mak, who had scored in three consecutive games before being unable to extend his goalscoring run against Central Coast.

Mak is 8.00 to net the first goal of the game in Perth, having done just that in the loss to Phoenix and the 1-1 draw at home to Brisbane Roar, while he is 3.10 to score at anytime.

The Sky Blues will be eager to lay down a marker at HBF Park, with a relatively comfortable finish to the regular season culminating in a home clash with Glory in what could be a crucial match for their finals prospects.

Perth fighting to avoid basement spot

While Sydney are looking ahead to might be possible in the coming weeks, Glory are looking nervously over their shoulders towards the bottom of the ladder.

A run of five games without a win has destroyed Perth’s hopes of challenging for a top-six finish and instead they are now just two points above basement side Western United, with those two sides set to meet in the penultimate round of the regular season.

Glory have registered three losses and two draws in those last five games, with each of the defeats coming by a single-goal margin, so they have been right in every match they have lost.

And head coach Alen Stajcic is well aware of that situation as his players prepare for what he has described as probably their "hardest game" of the season, while also telling reporters we will "see how resilient we are mentally and physically playing against a red-hot team".

Stajcic will be relying heavily on star striker Adam Taggart to try and help Glory end their winless run, with the Socceroos ace having scored three times in two appearances before drawing a blank in the 2-1 loss to Melbourne Victory last time out.

Taggart is available at 2.75 to score at anytime against Sydney, while the hosts are 4.33 to suffer another defeat by a one-goal margin.

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