Glory without Shane Smeltz for Phoenix clash

SIMON PLUMB
Last updated 05:00 31/01/2013
Phoenix
Getty Images
CHALLENGE: Perth's Shane Smeltz and Phoenix captain Andrew Durante contest the ball in the air.

Relevant offers

Football

All Whites coach Anthony Hudson wants youngsters to make mark in Korea friendly Tottenham striker Harry Kane to start for England against Italy, says Roy Hodgson A-League prepares for thrilling finish as five clubs jostle for top billing Ex-Liverpool and England footballer John Barnes: I can't get a job because I'm black All Whites star Winston Reid says 2010 World Cup 'changed my life' Sydney FC's Shane Smeltz cops three-match ban after lashing out at Ben Sigmund Teenager Clayton Lewis poised to make All Whites debut against South Korea in Seoul France recover from Brazil defeat with 2-0 home win over Denmark in friendly Germany and Portugal get back on track in 2016 European Championship qualifying Ireland substitue Shane Long denies Poland victory with injury-time leveller

Perth Glory duo Shane Smeltz and Jacob Burns have been ruled out of Saturday's A-League game against the Wellington Phoenix in Auckland.

It is a significant boost for the bottom of the table Phoenix. A win against fellow strugglers Perth would breathe new life into their hopes of making the playoffs.

Smeltz's absence does carry negatives however, with New Zealand fans missing out on a relatively rare opportunity to see their star international striker take to the field on home soil.

Both Smeltz and Burns also missed Perth's last game, a 1-0 loss at home to Brisbane Roar, last Saturday.

Phoenix captain Andrew Durante says his side must capitalise on their absence and get the Phoenix's season back on track.

"We've really got to take advantage. There'll be no feeling sorry for teams at this stage, we're desperate for points," Durante said.

"He [Smeltz] is very important to any team, he's lethal. He doesn't do too much in general play in some games but it seems like whenever he doesn't do a lot he scores goals.

"You've always got to be careful with Smeltzy."

With the exception of Tony Lochhead, who is suspended after being sent off last week, Durante said the rest of the Phoenix squad are injury and suspension-free.

Ad Feedback

- Fairfax Media

Special offers
Opinion poll

Will Burnley retain their EPL status?

Yes, they've found a winning formula

Maybe, but there’s a long way to go

No. They lack quality in certain areas

Vote Result

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content