Match Preview: Popa – High standards need to be maintained


Head Coach Tony Popovic has called upon his side to maintain the high standards they have set this season ahead of Saturday’s eagerly-anticipated clash with Wellington Phoenix at nib Stadium (Kick Off at 7pm).


Glory head into the Round 17 fixture having lost just once all year and won seven of their last ten outings.

The men in purple were held to a draw when they met Phoenix on the other side of the Tasman back in early December, however and Popovic is expecting Mark Rudan’s side to provide another stern challenge this weekend.

“We’re delighted with how we went through that period [six games in 17 days],” he said, “and everyone that has played has really contributed.

“We’re very happy with the squad and are looking forward to another home game.

“We all want this run to continue, but also know that we have to keep playing well and maintain the standards and performance levels that we have shown to keep ourselves up there.

“Wellington have been great this season; a breath of fresh air for the league. They keep playing good football and getting good results and they are where they deserve to be [on the ladder].

“I’m sure they’ll come here with confidence, but we’re also very confident and playing very well, so we look forward to it.”

Popovic went on to issue a warm welcome back to Chris Ikonomidis who is set to return to the squad for the Phoenix clash having served Australia with distinction earlier this month at the AFC Asian Cup.

“We’re happy that Chris is back,” he said. “He was fantastic for the Socceroos and we were delighted as a club to see him perform the way he did.

“He’s come back healthy and is delighted to be back with his teammates. We look forward to seeing him carry on where he left off and possibly be an even more confident player now that he’s had that experience with the Socceroos.”

Phoenix, meanwhile, are currently sitting in sixth place on the Hyundai A-League ladder having been beaten just once in their last 11 games and boast the competition’s top scorer in Roy Krishna.

In terms of early team news for the visitors, veteran defender Andrew Durante will miss the game through suspension, but Rudan may opt to hand a club debut to former Glory man Antony Golec who was signed earlier this week.

Match Details

Saturday, 2 February 2019

Perth Glory v Wellington Phoenix

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: Craig Zetter

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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, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 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: 6.Dino DJULBIC (promoted), 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS (returns from international duty)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 16.Tomislav MRCELA (thigh – 1 week)

Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Filip KURTO (gk), 4.Mandi SOSA, 5. Ryan LOWRY, 6.Dylan FOX, 7.Cillian SHERIDAN, 9.Nathan BURNS, 11.David WILLIAMS, 12. Antony GOLEC, 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, 23.Max BURGESS, 27.Steven TAYLOR

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 6. Dylan FOX (promoted), 9. Nathan BURNS (promoted), 12. Antony GOLEC (new signing)

Outs: 22. Andrew DURANTE (suspension – 1 week)

Unavailable: Nil


Photo courtesy of Vision Inspired Photography