Match Preview – Popa salutes strikers ahead of Phoenix test


Tony Popovic has praised attacking duo Andy Keogh and Chris Ikonomidis ahead of Sunday’s clash with Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium (kick off 2pm WST).


Keogh is poised to make his 100th Hyundai A-League appearance for the club in the Round 6 fixture, while Chris Ikonomidis was today named the NAB Young Footballer Nominee for October/November.

The pair have bagged eight goals between them thus far this term and Popovic was quick to acknowledge the contribution they have made to Glory’s strong start to the campaign.

Andy Keogh and Scott Neville

“Andy has been great for the club during the time that he has been here,” he said.

“What he’s shown so far this year is that he’s a goalscorer and a leader. He’s doing a great job, I’m pleased with the way he’s going and I’m delighted that he’ll be reaching that milestone.

“In this industry and particularly with the salary cap here in Australia, there is a lot of player movement, so it’s a special milestone that doesn’t happen too often and hopefully there will be more players who will achieve that here at Perth Glory.

“In terms of Chris, we are delighted that we got him to the club. He’s a great young talent with great potential and he wants to be the best he can be and take his game as far as he can.

Chris Ikonomidis - NAB award

“We’re delighted that we have the opportunity to help with his development. He’s really showing his quality and I’m sure he’ll just keep getting better and better.”

Popovic went on to confirm that he is expecting another stern test on the other side of the Tasman as the men in purple look to cement top spot by recording a third consecutive away victory.

“We’ve picked up two important wins away this year,” he said. “We know that it’s a difficult journey in terms of getting there and how long it takes, which will be new for me and for some of the other staff and players, but we’re looking forward to that challenge.

“We understand that we’re up against a team that has lost three in a row, but they also played very well in the first two games. We know it will be a real tough encounter and that we’ll have to be good to get a result.”

Wellington Phoenix v Perth Glory

Westpac Stadium, Wellington

Kick-Off: 2:00PM (WST) (7:00PM (Local))

Referee: Adam Kersey

Assistant Referee 1: Lance Greenshields

Assistant Referee 2: James Tesoriero

Fourth Official: Adrian Arndt

VAR: Nick Waldron

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 2.00pm (WST) , Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers

Radio Broadcast: ABC News on Radio, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Listen App – A-League Live.

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash tag #WEL vPER

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

Wellington Phoenix squad: 1. Filip KURTO (GK), 4.Mandi SOSA, 5.Ryan LOWRY, 6.Dylan FOX, 8.Mitch NICHOLS, 9. Nathan BURNS, 11. David WILLIAMS, 13. Liberato CACACE, 14. Alex RUFER, 15. Michal KOPZCYNSKI, 16. Louis FENTON, 18.Sarpreet SINGH, 19.Tom DOYLE, 20.Oliver SAIL (GK), 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22. Andrew DURANTE (C), 23. Max BURGESS, 27. Steven TAYLOR

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 13. Liberato Cacace (promoted) 18. Sarpreet Singh (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Nil

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, 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 17.Diego CASTRO, 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 22.Fabio FERREIRA, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 11.Brendon SANTALAB (promoted), 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC (promoted), 14.Chris HAROLD (promoted)

Outs: 2.Alex GRANT (injured)

Unavailable: 2.Alex GRANT (foot – 1-2 weeks), 23.Scott NEVILLE (ankle 1-2 weeks), 27.JUANDE (knee – 1-2 weeks)