Glory to fight City for second spot in A-L

Justin Chadwick and Anna Harrington
Melbourne City can consolidate second spot in the A-League by beating Perth

Melbourne City coach Erick Mombaerts will be hoping to keep a hungry Perth Glory outfit at bay when the two A-League powerhouses lock horns in a battle for second spot.

With Sydney FC the runaway leaders, the rest of the pack have been left to fight for the crumbs - with second spot the most prized morsel of the lot.

Melbourne City currently occupy the position, and they will go six points clear of third-placed Glory with a win at HBF Park on Sunday.

But if Glory can snare the three points they will go ahead of City on goal difference, plus have the added advantage of having a game in hand.

Both sides know the importance of second spot in the race for the overall title plus also Asian Champions League qualification, and Mombaerts is preparing his team for an almighty fight.

"It's important because we are second but they are not far away from us and also we want to stay at the top," Mombaerts told AAP.

"It's about how to challenge, how to perform against one of the best teams in the A-League.

"It's very important if we want to stay in this position - we need to continue to get points."

Glory's 10-match unbeaten run in the A-League came to a crashing halt last week when they suffered a shock 2-1 loss to the Newcastle Jets.

Perth defender Alex Grant said the team were eager to bounce back from that, and they are eyeing off second spot as motivation.

"We want to solidify that second spot," Grant said.

"We know how important it is.

"That's what we're aiming for at the moment. And then when we get there, if we can chase Sydney down and they slip up, so be it."

Glory thrashed City 3-0 at AAMI Park in round nine, before the teams fought out a 0-0 draw at the same venue in January.

STATS THAT MATTER

*Perth Glory have lost only one of their last 12 A-League matches against Melbourne City FC (W7, D4) - a 2-0 loss in January 2018.

*Perth Glory have won nine of their last 11 A-League matches against Melbourne City FC at HBF Park (D1, L1), despite leading at halftime only once in their last six games of that span.

*Melbourne City FC have averaged 19.6 open play crosses per game in the 2019/20 A-League season, the most of any side.