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Joel Chianese is in contention for Glory ahead of this weekend's clash against Wellington Phoenix. Photo: Getty Images

Glory’s double boost ahead of Phoenix clash

Football West News

Andreu Guerao and Joel Chianese are both in contention for squad places as Glory look to get back to winning ways at the expense of Wellington Phoenix on Saturday.

The Spaniard has been sidelined by a calf injury since Glory last met Phoenix in Round 6, while former Sydney FC man Chianese has missed the entire Hyundai A-League campaign thus far after cracking his collar bone in training.

And given the club’s wretched run of luck with injuries in recent weeks, Head Coach Kenny Lowe is understandably delighted to see the duo come back into the selection mix.

“It’s well documented that we’ve been hit hard by injuries and we picked up even more last weekend which was really frustrating,” he said.

“But having another two quality players available for selection is a real plus.

“The key is for us is to stay as close as we can to the leading pack during this period when we have so many key players missing and then look to kick on when they come back.”

Saturday’s opponents have themselves been hard hit by injuries and international commitments in recent weeks, with the likes of Andrew Durante, Roy Krishna and Michael McGlinchey major doubts for their long trip to nib Stadium.

But Lowe is still wary of Darije Kalezic’s side whose only victory of the season so far came when they downed Glory at Westpac Stadium last month.

“They have some quality players and offer a real threat going forward,” he said.

“The lad [Andrija] Kaludjerovic is the league’s top scorer at the moment and they have the likes of [Dario] Vidosic as well, so we need to be aware of them.

“But as always, we’ll focus mainly upon ourselves.

“Even though we lost last weekend, we dominated the second-placed team and we can draw plenty of confidence from that.”

Phoenix have struggled on the road this term, although they did manage a 0-0 at Brisbane Roar last time out and are set to welcome Iraq international Ali Abbas back into their squad for Saturday, along with Shane Lowry’s brother, Ryan.

Should the Lowry brothers end up going head-to-head, it will be the first time they have ever done so at a professional level.

Glory, meanwhile, will be aiming to secure what would be a ninth home win of 2017 and Diego Castro will be targeting his first start since Round 6 after making a late cameo off the bench last weekend.

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Match Details

Saturday, 16 December 2017

Perth Glory v Wellington Phoenix

nib Stadium, Perth

Kick-Off: 7:00 PM (Local) (10:00 PM AEDT)