Match Preview: Popa backs fans to give Glory Semi-Final edge


Tony Popovic believes that the Glory’s members and fans will have a key role to play in helping his side see off the challenge of Adelaide United in Friday’s Semi-Final clash.


The club’s Head Coach was in the crowd at Coopers Stadium on Sunday when the Reds edged out Melbourne City in their Elimination Final roared on by a vocal home crowd.

And he feels that the men in purple will benefit from enjoying a similar advantage at HBF Park as they attempt to secure a second A-League Grand Final appearance.

“They [Adelaide] had their reward last week by playing at home,” he said, “and their home fans really helped them get across the line. It was a great atmosphere and a great night and it was good to be there.

“Now we get the same opportunity.

“We get our reward now for finishing first; to have a huge crowd, our own support behind and hopefully, as happened for Adelaide, they can be that extra man and help us get over the line.”

Popovic went on to acknowledge the challenge that the Reds will pose, while also praising the attitude that his players have shown since being crowned Premiers last month.

 “I’ve been very impressed by Adelaide and always spoken highly of them and their coach,” he said.

“They are a really good unit and are in a fantastic position. They are one game away from a Grand Final, as we are.

“We worked on our game before we knew who our opponent was and now we’ve gone into a bit more detail knowing that it’s Adelaide in terms of ways that we can defend well against them and impose our game on them. That’ll be our focus.

“As I’ve mentioned before, since winning the Plate there’s been a real lift in focus and intensity. They [the players] have enjoyed the success of winning the Plate and there’s a real sense that they want more. That’s all we’ve seen at training; a great attitude, great intensity and focus and they are all enjoying their work and pushing each other because they all want to play.

“That doesn’t guarantee anything for tomorrow night, but we feel it guarantees a great chance of putting on a top performance in front of our fans and we anticipate that can be enough for us to get into the Final.”

The Head Coach also confirmed that he’s hopeful of Neil Kilkenny recovering from his ankle injury in time to feature.

“We expect him to play,” he said.

“He’s training this afternoon with the group, so unless something else happens to him and he can’t play tomorrow, we’d expect him to be there.

“When a player goes down in a training game and is distressed, you fear the worst for the player first and foremost.

“But he’s worked extremely hard, the medical staff have done a great job and he’ll be joining the group. We’re pleased for him and the group is delighted that he’ll be there.

“But we are fighting to make a Final. If he’s 50%, there’s no point playing him and we have players that are ready to go.

“A fully-fit, confident Neil and he’ll play, but if not, we’ll go with another option.”

Alex Grant remains Glory’s only confirmed absentee for Friday evening, while Adelaide Head Coach Marco Kurz has a full squad to chose from with the exception of the suspended Ken Ilso.

Tickets for the game are available HERE.

Hyundai A-League 2019 Finals Series – Week 2 – Semi Finals – Ins And Outs

Hyundai A-League 2019 Semi Final 1

Perth Glory (1) v Adelaide United (4)

HBF Park, Perth

Friday 10 May 2019

Kick-Off: 6:30pm (Local) (8:30pm AEST)

Referee: Alex King

Assistant Referee 1: David Walsh

Assistant Referee 2: Josh Mannella

Fourth Official: Adam Fielding

VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash tag #PERvADL #FeelTheFinals

To purchase tickets visit www.a-league.com.au/tickets

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, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 17.Diego CASTRO, 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 22.Fabio FERREIRA, 23.Scott NEVILLE, 27.JUANDE, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 4.Shane LOWRY (promoted), 22.Fabio FERREIRA (promoted), 27.JUANDE (returns from injury)

Outs: 29.Kristian POPOVIC (not selected)

Unavailable: 2.Alex GRANT (illness – 1 week)

Adelaide United squad: 1.Daniel MARGUŠ (gk), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 6.Vince LIA, 7.Ryan KITTO, 8.Isaías SÁNCHEZ (c), 9.Baba DIAWARA, 11.Craig GOODWIN, 14.George BLACKWOOD, 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 17.Nikola MILEUSNIĆ, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 23.Jordan ELSEY, 26.Ben HALLORAN, 31.Mirko BOLAND, 32.Carlo ARMIENTO, 33.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS (promoted), 32.Carlo ARMIENTO (promoted)

Outs: nil

Unavailable: 10.Ken ILSØ (suspended)

#OneMission #OneGlory