Match Preview – Popa expecting strong response against Wanderers


Tony Popovic is confident that his Glory charges will respond in the best possible way to last week’s defeat against Adelaide United when they face Western Sydney Wanderers at Bankwest Stadium on Tuesday (kick-off at 5.30pm WST).


A third victory of the campaign over Wanderers would propel the men in purple to within a point of fourth-placed Brisbane Roar as the race for finals spots hots up.

And while acknowledging that the loss to Adelaide was a painful one, the Head Coach believes that his squad’s confidence has not been shaken and that they are looking forward to returning to action.

“After the [Adelaide] game it was a subdued changing room as you can imagine, we can’t shy away from that fact,” he said.

“But we got up the next day, had a discussion about the game and we’ve clearly moved on.

“We don’t have time to dwell.

“I mentioned after the game that it was a good thing that we had a short, five-day turnaround and we’ve seen around the hotel that the demeanour of the players has been very good.

“They’ve been very positive and keen to get out and train and prepare for this next match.”

Popovic also stressed that he was pleased with the way his side performed in the second half against Adelaide, having trailed 4-1 at the break. 

“We played well in the first two games, but got punished for a very poor period against Adelaide, albeit having probably started the best that we’ve started in any of the three games,” he said.

“It was tough to come back from such a deficit, but I really thought the players showed a lot of character in the second half and that was really pleasing for everyone here.

“I feel it was a sign of the growth that we’ve had that, in adversity, the players really held firm and tried to get something out of the second half.

“We’ve got to take that into the next game.”

Western Sydney, meanwhile, will head into Tuesday’s clash off the back of a win over Wellington and requiring another three points to keep their finals hopes alive and Popovic is expecting his former club to come flying out of the blocks.

“They [Western Sydney] will have a crowd,” he said.

“So it should be a good atmosphere and it’s a chance for the players to really cement ourselves in terms of where we want to be; in that top six challenging for the title.

“We expect them [Wanderers] to start at a really high tempo which they’ve been doing not just in the last two games, but pre-COVID as well.

“There’s a lot of energy and aggression about their play, so we have to expect that that’s what will happen in the first 20 or 30 minutes and we have to be prepared to match that.

“We started very well [in] the last game and we have to extend that period and make sure we match their intensity and aggression with and without the ball.

“I’m confident that our football will shine through in the end.”

Glory will be out to maintain a seven-game unbeaten A-League streak against Wanderers when the two sides meet on Tuesday evening, with the Sydneysiders’ last win in this fixture coming back in October 2017.

Match Details

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Perth Glory

Bankwest Stadium, Parramatta

Kick-Off: 5:30PM (WST) (7:30PM (Local))

Referee: Kurt Ams

Assistant Referee 1: Kearney Robinson

Assistant Referee 2: Brad Wright

Fourth Official: Katie Patterson

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 507 from 7:30pm (AEST) and Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand), Kayo Sports (www.kayosports.com.au) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers

Radio Broadcast: SWR999

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #WSWvPER

Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6.Matthew JURMAN, 8.Jordan O’DOHERTY, 7.Mitchell DUKE (c), 10.Simon COX, 11.Bruce KAMAU, 13.Tass MOURDOUKOUTAS, 16.Mathieu CORDIER, 17.Keanu BACCUS, 19.Pirmin SCHWEGLER, 22.Nicholas SULLIVAN, 23.Kosta GROZOS, 27.Kwame YEBOAH, 28.Fabian MONGE, 33.Tate RUSSELL, 34.Patrick ZIEGLER, 35.Mo ADAM, 40.Nicholas SUMAN (gk), 50.Tristan PRENDERGAST (gk)

**2-4 to be omitted**

Ins: 16.Mathieu CORDIER (promoted), 23.Kosta GROZOS (promoted), 28.Fabian MONGE (promoted)

Outs: 9.Nicolai MULLER (concussion)

Unavailable: 1.Daniel LOPAR (returned home), 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (shoulder), 29.Daniel WILMERING (knee), Radoslaw MAJEWSKI (knee).

Perth Glory squad: 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Jacob TRATT, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 8.James MEREDITH, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 13.Osama MALIK, 18.Nick D’AGOSTINO, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Vince LIA, 23.Dane INGHAM, 25.Carlo ARMIENTO, 27.JUANDE, 28.Gabriel POPOVIC, 29.Kristian POPOVIC, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 50.Daniel MARGUSH (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY (C)

**0-2 to be omitted**

Ins: Nil

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Nil