Match Preview – Popa: “Our level has to keep getting better…”


Tony Popovic has insisted that his players will need to keep improving as the run-in to the end of the regular Hyundai A-League season continues.


Following a weekend without a fixture, the men in purple are set to return to action by taking on Adelaide United at Coopers Stadium on Friday (kick off at 4.50pm WST).

And Popovic is expecting the Reds clash, along with each of the other five remaining games, to provide plenty of challenges for his table-topping side. 

“Our players are happy and confident going into it [the Adelaide game],” he said, “but they know that our level has to keep getting better because the opponents are improving.

“You always want to improve in every aspect and that’s what’s so enjoyable about coaching this group; they are trying to improve every game, they want to get better.

“We’ll keep working and trying to get those little details better and better.

“It’s normal in any code that when you play the top team, you always want to lift and give a little bit more, so we have to be prepared for that and we should also enjoy that fact that that is how we’re viewed by our opponents.

“Content would be the wrong word [for how I’m feeling]. I’m very happy with the last two away performances, in particular for the whole game versus the Wanderers. And then against Melbourne City, a very strong outfit in tough conditions, to dominate as we did in the second half speaks volumes for the players’ character and quality.”

Popovic went on to confirm that the break from what had been a hectic run of games has left his squad refreshed and that he is expecting fireworks in the South Australian capital on Friday. 

“You can always draw on positives from a week off,”he said.

“We’ve had time to reflect on what’s happened so far. It’s an opportunity to rest some players and give some extra training to others. So it’s really been a combination of rest and good work which is difficult to do when you play so many games in a short period. 

“They [Adelaide] are a good team. I enjoy watching them play and how they work. You can see that their coach has been there for a second season and they understand clearly what he wants. They have some very talented players and it should be an entertaining match.”

Glory have lost on just one of their last four visits to Coopers Stadium and are yet to concede a goal against the Reds this term having secured a 2-0 win over them in Round 4 and then battled out a 0-0 draw in Round 15.

Match Details

Friday, 15 March 2019

Adelaide United v Perth Glory

Coopers Stadium, Adelaide

Kick-Off: 4:50PM (WST) (7:20PM (Local))

Referee: Peter Green

Assistant Referee 1: Matthew Cream

Assistant Referee 2: Paul Cetrangolo

Fourth Official: Daniel Elder

VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT) , Sky Sport Pop-Up 1 (New Zealand) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers

Radio Broadcast: myfootballnation.com (5AA Adelaide & 1116SEN). ABC News on Radio, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Listen App – A-League Live.

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash tag #ADLvPER

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

Adelaide United squad: 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 4.Ryan STRAIN, 6.Vince LIA, 7.Ryan KITTO, 8.Isaías SÁNCHEZ (c), 10.Ken ILSØ, 11.Craig GOODWIN, 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 17.Nikola MILEUSNIĆ, 19.Jordy THOMASSEN, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 27.Louis D’ARRIGO, 30.Isaac RICHARDS, 31.Mirko BOLAND, 32.Carlo ARMIENTO, 33.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 17.Nikola MILEUSNIĆ (returns from injury), 22.Michael JAKOBSEN (returns from injury), 30.Isaac RICHARDS (promoted), 33.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS (promoted)

Outs: 1.Daniel MARGUŠ (international duty), 14.George BLACKWOOD (international duty)

Unavailable: 9.Baba DIAWARA (knee), 18.Lachlan BROOK (knee), 23.Jordan ELSEY (foot), 26.Ben HALLORAN (ankle)

Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 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, 21.Jacob ITALIANO , 22.Fabio FERREIRA, 23.Scott NEVILLE, 27.JUANDE, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 2.Alex GRANT (returns from injury), 16.Tomislav MRCELA (returns from injury), 21.Jacob ITALIANO (promoted), 22.Fabio FERREIRA (promoted)

Outs: 11.Brendon SANTALAB (not selected), 20.Jake BRIMMER (not selected)

Unavailable: 15.Brandon WILSON (international duty)