Victory have only beaten Perth once in their last seven meetings so get on the hosts to win.
Perth took advantage of a red card for Nigel Boogaard just before the break in their clash with the Jets as they went on to win 6-1, having been 2-1 up at the time of his sending off. That was their first away win of the season and with it they’ve broken away from the Mariners at the bottom of the table and joined the Jets and the Phoenix in a battle to avoid 9th spot.
Victory, meanwhile, have recorded home wins against rivals Brisbane and Sydney in their last two games, though might consider themselves lucky to have beaten Sydney as it took an own goal to break down their resolute defence. Nonetheless, those results mean they’re very much in the mix at the top of the table and they’ll look to keep the pressure on the leaders here.
Having been bottom of the league after eight games Perth have improved markedly since then, losing just two of their last eight while beating the Mariners, Jets and Victory in that time. They’ve continued to struggle defensively, keeping just two clean sheets all season, but they’ve managed to score in 12 of their 16 games, meaning only City and the Mariners have seen more goals in their games. Their home record this season is W3-D3-L2, with defeats coming against Wellington in their opening home game and the other against Adelaide in a match in which they were reduced to 10 men in the first half. They’ve scored in seven of their eight home matches this season, the exception being a 0-0 draw with Sydney and they’re also unbeaten in their four home games against current top-half teams.
Though Victory looked to be back to their best when thrashing the Roar 4-0, it remains to be seen whether they can take that form with them on the road. Their away record this season is W2-D2-L5, some way off the level they showed last season when they lost just one away match all season. They’ve failed to score in five of their nine away games this term and were 3-0 down at bottom of the league Mariners in their last road match, before a miraculous comeback saw them earn a point. They’ve already lost at Perth this season, as well as fellow bottom-half sides Wellington and the Jets and also drew 0-0 at Adelaide in their opening game of the season.
Victory have only beaten Perth once in their last seven meetings and since they’re yet to prove themselves on the road this term, while Perth have been a much improved side recently and have a solid record at the nib Stadium, we’re taking on the Champions in this one.