Match Preview: “The players deserve a big crowd behind them” – Popa


Tony Popovic is excited at the prospect of a large crowd roaring Glory on in Saturday’s blockbuster clash with Melbourne Victory at HBF Park (Click HERE for tickets).


The men in purple are aiming to cement their position at the top of the Hyundai A-Ladder by securing what would be a third win of the season over the navy-and-whites.

And the Head Coach feels that his side’s performances so far this term warrant the Perth public getting right behind them this weekend.

“It’s been a long time since we’ve played at home and I think everyone’s excited at the prospect of us playing against Victory in front of a big crowd,” he said.

“I believe the players should embrace it because they deserve it. The way they’ve played this year, they deserve to have a big crowd behind them against a big opponent.”

Three points on Saturday would move Glory to within touching distance of a maiden A-League Premiers’ Plate, but Popovic was quick to play down talk of silverware ahead of a clash with what he regards as a very dangerous opponent.

“Melbourne Victory is the next challenge that we have in front of us,” he said.
“We haven’t looked too far ahead all year and there’s no point in starting now.

“The fact is that we’re nine points in front with five [games] to go and it’s quite natural to think of what’s possible. We’ve created the opportunity that the Premiers’ Plate is well and truly possible for us.

“It is close, that’s true and we’re not denying that, but to take another step closer to that, we have to focus all our energy on Saturday’s game against Melbourne Victory.

“We have an opportunity to show our quality once more. We expect a very difficult game, but we’re hoping that with our home support, we can get over the line and take another step towards that Premiers’ Plate.

“I feel that we have shown that we can compete with them [Victory] at a very high level and we’ll need nothing short of a high-level performance to be able to do that again.

“Anything short of that, with the quality that they have, it won’t be enough.

“We’re aware of what’s required and confident that we have the ability to put on that high-level performance.”

Match Details

Saturday 30 March 2019

Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory

HBF Park, Perth

Kick-Off: 7:00PM (Local) (10:00PM (AEDT))

Referee: Shaun Evans

Assistant Referee 1: Arvin Shanmuganathan

Assistant Referee 2: Josh Mannella

Fourth Official: Adam Fielding

VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash tag #PERvMVC

Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 3.Jason DAVIDSON, 4.Shane LOWRY, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 9.Andy KEOGH, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 17.Diego CASTRO, 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 21.Jacob ITALIANO , 22.Fabio FERREIRA, 23.Scott NEVILLE, 27.JUANDE, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC (promoted), 20.Jake BRIMMER (promoted), 21.Jacob ITALIANO (promoted)

Outs: 29.Kristian POPOVIC (not selected)

Unavailable: 2.Alex GRANT (thigh – 2 weeks)

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matthew ACTON (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Corey BROWN, 4.Keisuke HONDA, 5.Georg NIEDERMEIER, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7. Kenny ATHIU, 8. Terry ANTONIS, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.James TROISI, 11.Ola TOIVONEN, 14. Thomas DENG, 15.Raul BAENA, 16.Josh HOPE, 17. James DONACHIE, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI (c), 24. Elvis KAMSOBA

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 8. Terry ANTONIS (return from injury), 14. Thomas DENG (return from International duty), 17. James DONACHIE (return from suspension), 24. Elvis KAMSOBA (return from injury)

Outs: 25. Anthony LESIOTIS (not selected), 19. Rahmat AKBARI (not selected)

Unavailable: Nil