Match Preview: “We certainly feel we have enough to punish Sydney FC” – Popa


Head Coach Tony Popovic is quietly confident that his Glory side have what it takes to put a dent in Sydney FC’s seemingly inexorable march towards the Hyundai A-League Premiership.


The men in purple will travel to Kogarah for Saturday’s Round 23 clash looking to end a run of six successive away defeats at the hands of the Sky Blues who have also won eight of their nine home league games this term.

And Popovic feels that they have the character to do just that. 

“We get a chance to show our quality against the best and most consistent team this year, away from home,” he said.

“It’s a great challenge and the players are ready for this one.

“The stats are there for a reason and there’s always an opportunity to change that, so Saturday is a chance to change those numbers and we feel that we are more than capable of doing that.

“We expect them [Sydney FC] to play very well, but if we can play very well for 95 minutes, I don’t see why we can’t get the win.

“We’re looking forward to playing the top side on their home patch and we’ll go there with confidence.”

Popovic pointed to his charges’ fightback in the second half of last weekend’s game against Melbourne City as evidence of their never-say-die attitude.

“We showed in that second half what we can do in terms of performance,” he said, “but also in character and mentality and although we didn’t get the result, that’s something that probably shows how far we’ve come last year and this year.

“The boys never feel like they’re out of a game.

“That’s credit to the players, but we need to tighten up on those fine details.

“Melbourne City punished us and [this week] we’re playing a team that can punish you at any moment, but we certainly feel we have enough to punish Sydney FC.”

While Sydney’s home record is undoubtedly a strong one, Glory have been similarly impressive on the road since Popovic took charge, losing just three of their 23 away games.

In terms of early team news, meanwhile, the WA side reported no fresh injury concerns from the Melbourne City game, while the hosts could welcome Socceroo Michael Zullo back into their matchday squad. 

Match Details

Saturday, 14 March 2020

Sydney FC v Perth Glory

Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah

Kick-Off: 5:00pm (Local) (2:00pm (WST))

Referee: Chris Beath

Assistant Referee 1: Ashley Beecham

Assistant Referee 2: Scott Edeling

Fourth Official: Stephen Lucas

VAR: Craig Zetter

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 4:30pm (AEDT), ABC TV from 5:00pm (AEDT), 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: myfootballnation.com (1377 SEN+, SEN2)

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

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

Sydney FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 2.Patrick FLOTTMANN, 3.Ben WARLAND, 4.Alex WILKINSON (c), 5.Alex BAUMJOHANN, 6.Ryan McGOWAN, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Paulo RETRE, 9.Adam LE FONDRE, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 16.Joel KING, 17.Anthony CACERES, 18.Luke IVANOVIC, 20.Thomas HEWARD-BELLE (gk), 21.Harry VAN DER SAAG, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 24.Marco TILIO, 26.Luke BRATTAN.

**2-4 to be omitted**

Ins: 2.Patrick FLOTTMANN (promoted), 7.Michael ZULLO (return from injury), 18.Luke IVANOVIC (return from injury).

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: Nil

Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Jacob TRATT, 4.Greg WUTHRICH, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.James MEREDITH, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 12.Kim SOO-BEOM, 13.Osama MALIK, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 17.Diego CASTRO (c), 18.Nicholas D’AGOSTINO, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 27.JUANDE, 28.Gabriel POPOVIC, 29.Kristian POPOVIC, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY

**2-4 to be omitted**

Ins: 12.Kim SOO-BEOM (promoted), 13.Osama MALIK (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 6.Dino DJULBIC (ankle – indefinite), 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS (knee – season)