Stalling Macarthur look to solidify finals hopes against Perth Glory

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Macarthur’s once steady ship has begun to rock with uncertainty.

More inconsistent mystery than plummeting catastrophe, the Bulls’ stuttering form has retuned eyes away from the title and on to the top six.

The visit of Perth Glory comes at a handy point in the season.

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Macarthur’s Wednesday night draw with Sydney FC reads very similarly to the Bulls’ entire season – a dream start soiled by a leaky defence.

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A blissful first half-hour saw Ante Milicic’s men go 2-0 up on a rainy away night at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium. A slow, unchallenged cross and an own-goal later, Macarthur would leave with just a point.

In their first five games of this A-League Men season, Macarthur conceded just two goals. In their last seven games, they have conceded 18. They are now statistically the worst defensive team in the competition. The 33 goals scored against them is 11 more than last-placed Perth.

Despite picking up only four points in their last five matches, Macarthur still find themselves in a positive position as the shutter door begins to drop on a peculiar ALM season.

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A win at home on Sunday night could lift the Bulls from fifth into third.

With seven games still to play (for Macarthur specifically) and only six points separating ninth from third, a finals berth is still up for grabs for the majority of ALM teams.

A win over Perth would be the heavy, wooden drawers they push over behind them as they dash down the hallway chased by Sydney, Melbourne Victory and Central Coast Mariners.

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If it serves as a reboot button for their season, however, they could glide to a handsome and comfortable finish to secure a second finals appearance in as many seasons.

Perth, on the other hand, have rarely had it so tough. A city’s lengthy, aching struggle felt synonymously by its football club.

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Lockdowns, border closures, COVID cases and a very boring Daniel Sturridge will flash painfully in the memory of Glory fans once they are able to wake up from the nightmare this season has been.

Winless in their last nine games scoring just five goals, they are realistically the ideal team to play right now.

A comeback crew will blow further wind into the Macarthur sail in the build-up to this weekend’s fixture, as injury plagued Tomi Juric and Jamaican international Adrian Mariappa may be returning to the side. Milicic was also excited to announce Craig Noone’s availability for Sunday’s game at Campbelltown Stadium.

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The ball will be firmly in the Bulls’ pen, and they are overdue a winning performance to re-fill their fans’ hope as the season approaches its pointy end.

Feature Image Credit: Macarthur FC

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Tom Macrae
Tom Macraehttp://medium.com/@macraetomr23
Communications undergrad at Western Sydney University covering Macarthur FC in the 2021/22 season. Newcastle United. Jack Grealish fangirl.

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