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Oct 31, 2013

Sydney FC desperate for win in Perth

They're leaving on a jet plane. Don't know if Alessandro's back again.

But Perth-bound Sydney FC will pray coach Frank Farina is right when he says Del Piero is a fair - 60-70 per cent - chance of playing against the Glory on Saturday.

Pressure is already mounting at the high-profile club after two disastrous losses followed their season-opening win over Newcastle.

The Sky Blues have been undone by the same sort of errors and defensive issues that let in 51 goals last season, though this time with a new-look line-up and 4-3-3 formation.

They can count only two goals from three games as they prepare to face a young Perth outfit bristling with confidence from their 1-0 win over Melbourne Heart.

"We're desperate to go to Perth and get a result and hopefully put things right this week," admitted returning midfielder Brett Emerton.

Farina confirmed on Friday what had been in substantial doubt - that Del Piero, sidelined by a calf injury suffered early in the 4-0 loss to Brisbane Roar two weekends ago, would board the long flight west with the team.

The urge to rest his 38-year-old playmaker was overridden by the pressing need to reignite the spark so clearly missing again in the Italian's absence during last weekend's Sydney derby.

"There is that temptation, but you know we're in a situation now where we're fighting for points like everybody else," said Farina.

"I want the best available and, if he's available to do a job for us, I'll use him."

Del Piero's return would allow Nicky Carle - albeit a natural No.10 - to play deeper where he spent the pre-season training.

The return of Emerton and possibility of Terry McFlynn (groin) will help heal Farina's midfield headache, but Farina predicted the hosts' pace out wide would be a threat.

"Particularly with (Ryo) Nagai and Sidnei (Sciola) there, they're both very quick.

"I think that's where the biggest danger for us will be, for me that's their biggest threat."

The Glory only banked a solitary point in their first two games, but Jamie Maclaren's goal against the Heart has buoyed the morale of Alistair Edwards' side, boosting them into the top six.

Injured marquee Shane Smeltz (hip) may be back on the bench, threatening to give Sydney keeper Vedran Janjetovic trouble and could help correct last week's profligacy.

Sydney right back Pedj Bojic had been expected to return but didn't train with the squad this week, while Rhyan Grant's torn ACL has ruled him out for the season.

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