Perth Glory are outright favourites to collect the first wooden spoon in their 18-year history as they prepare to take on league leaders Brisbane Roar at Suncorp Stadium tomorrow night.
Glory have slipped to ninth place on the back of a six-game winless run, including confidence-sapping defeats in their past three outings.
They are still a mathematical chance to qualify for the finals, sitting six points out of the top six with seven games to play.
But in a sign of how far Glory have fallen, their opening price of $34 for the wooden spoon has been slashed to $2 with the TAB.
They are favourites to finish last despite having sat a whopping 14 points clear of bottom side Melbourne Heart last month.
Glory are now equal on points with Heart and will slip to last place this week if they don’t at least match the Victorian side’s result in tomorrow’s Melbourne derby.
Despite the dismal run, coach Kenny Lowe said Glory were capable of causing an upset against a Brisbane side that has lost its past two matches but remains four points clear on top of the table.
History is against Glory, who have won just twice in 13 attempts at Suncorp Stadium.
“90 minutes, 11 v 11, same arms and legs as us. We’re more than capable,” Lowe said.
“I think if you ask Melbourne Heart and Newcastle going into the last two games, they would’ve answered the question exactly the same way.
“We’re in the same boat as those guys. We can go there and do well.”
Marquee man William Gallas, 36, is likely to be the only player older than 22 in Glory’s back four as they look to stop Brisbane’s free-scoring attack, led by Albanian striker Besart Berisha.
Experienced stopper Michael Thwaite is suspended after accumulating five yellow cards, including three in his past four games.
Lowe said left-back Riley Woodcock had been rested, with Jack Clisby and Brandon O’Neill in line for promotion to the starting side.
Brisbane attacker Dimitri Petratos has been recalled at the expense of Henrique in what is likely to be the home side’s only change.
Roar coach Mike Mulvey said he expected to be confronted by a desperate Glory team.
“It’s always a keen, competitive game when we play against Perth and I don’t expect it to be any different tomorrow night,” Mulvey said. “They’re scrapping for points.”