Match Preview – Popovic expecting ‘really strong performance’


Glory Head Coach Tony Popovic has confirmed that his charges are raring to go ahead of Friday’s eagerly-anticipated Round 9 clash with Sydney FC at nib Stadium.

The men in purple do, of course, remain unbeaten this season and currently occupy top spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder, two points above Melbourne Victory and a further four points clear of the Sky Blues.

Not that there is any danger of anyone among the playing group or coaching staff getting carried away, however.


“Our players are confident as they should be, but they aren’t taking the position for granted,” said Popovic.

“It’s a great chance for us to get another three points in front of our own fans leading into Christmas and we feel that we’re ready to put in a really strong performance.

“It’s a short turnaround from Newcastle, but the players are really looking forward to another chance to stay at the top.

“All games are crucial and it’s amazing that we are talking about increasing the gap at the top which shows how far the club has come.

“It’s fantastic and we want people to come and support us knowing that we’re playing in a big match against a fantastic team that’s been really good over the last couple of years.”

Popovic went on to note that the team’s defensive solidity has pleased him in recent weeks and warned that they will need to produce another resolute display to keep a gifted Sydney FC side at bay.

“I’m very happy with the two consecutive clean sheets we’ve kept,” he said. “It’s an area that we’ve been working very hard to improve in and we know that it builds the foundation for success. We want that resilience and defensive structure to continue on Friday.

“They [Sydney FC] are very dangerous going forward, with [Alex] Brosque and [Adam] le Fondre and their structures are still the same.

“They still look like a team that is patient and calm and has a lot of belief, so we’re up against a big opponent and a big challenge on Friday.”

In team news, Juande and Scott Neville could come into the selection frame after recovering from their respective knee and ankle injuries, while Chris Ikonomidis will be available for the final time ahead of linking up with the Socceroos squad for next month’s AFC Asian Cup in the UAE.

Match Details

Perth Glory v Sydney FC

nib Stadium, Perth

Kick-Off: 6:00PM (Local) (9:00PM (AEDT))

Referee: Jonathan Barreiro

Assistant Referee 1: Josh Mannella

Assistant Referee 2: Arvin Shanmuganathan

Fourth Official: Adam Fielding

VAR: Kris Griffiths-Jones

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash tag #PERvSYD

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, 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 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: 23.Scott NEVILLE (returns from injury), 27.JUANDE (returns from injury)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 2.Alex GRANT (foot – 2 weeks), 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC (hamstring – 1 week), 17.Diego Castro (hamstring – 1 week)

Sydney FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 2.Aaron CALVER, 4.Alex WILKINSON, 6.Josh BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Paulo RETRE, 9.Adam LE FONDRE, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Daniel DE SILVA, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 18.Jacob TRATT, 20.Alex CISAK (gk), 21.Charles LOKOLI-NGOY, 22.Siem DE JONG, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 24.Cam DEVLIN, 31.Luke IVANOVIC.

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 4.Alex WILKINSON (return from illness), 21.Charles LOKOLI-NGOY (promoted), 24.Cam DEVLIN (promoted).

Outs: 5.Jop van der LINDEN (hamstring – 3 weeks)

Unavailable: 3.Ben WARLAND (foot – 3 weeks), 12.Trent BUHAGIAR (ACL – indefinite), 19.Chris ZUVELA (knee – indefinite)

Tickets available HERE.