Meet Perth Glory's stars to take on English giants Chelsea

Perth Glory take on Premier League giants Chelsea in a high-profile pre-season friendly at the new Optus Stadium on Monday night.

It’s a big opportunity for the Glory squad to pit themselves against some of Chelsea’s star-studded squad in what is set to be a big crowd in the west.

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We’ve picked out four Glory players set to light up Optus Stadium against the Blues.

Jacob Italiano

He may be just 16 but Italiano is a player Glory have high hopes about heading into the new season.

The gifted winger, who will join German club Borussia Monchengladbach when he turns 18 next year, brings an attacking flair and that x-factor which excites fans.

The youngster enjoyed a breakout period during the 2017/18 Hyundai A-League season, debuting at 16 years and 112 days with Glory dealing with injuries to a host of more established first team stars.

More recently, Italiano netted a goal in Glory's 3-0 pre-season win over Perth SC at Dorrien Gardens, Tony Popovic's first game in charge of the club.

Italiano will relish the opportunity to test his skills against Chelsea’s legion of stars and won’t be overawed by the occasion despite his tender age.

Jacob Italiano
Jacob Italiano

Matthew Spiranovic

Tony Popovic looks like he’s going to completely overhaul Glory’s defence for the new Hyundai A-League season and the addition of the Caltex Socceroos centre-back is huge for the club.

Spiranovic, who played all three games at the 2014 FIFA World Cup and won the AFC Asian Cup with the Caltex Socceroos in 2015, is a favourite of Popovic's during their time together at Western Sydney Wanderers.

Not only possessing a great ability to sense –and deal – with dangerous attacks, the 30-year-old can also start attacks from the back with his excellent distribution and range of passing.

Matthew Spiranovic
Matthew Spiranovic

Brendon Santalab

Another ex-Wanderer to join Popovic in the west, Santalab will add another vital string to Glory’s attack.

An underrated finisher, Santalab is the type of player that inspires those around him and he’s as valuable to Perth for his winning mentality as he is for his goal-scoring.

He may be 35 but Santalab looks as fit and motivated as ever and won’t take a backward step against the likes of David Luiz and co. in Chelsea’s backline.

Santalab
Brendon Santalab

Andy Keogh

Keogh enjoyed another strong season with Glory in the Hyundai A-League in 2017/18, contributing six goals and four assists despite the club missing out on the Finals Series.

Like Santalab, the former Republic of Ireland international is someone who leads by his actions, both with and without the ball.

With vast experience against English opposition from more than a decade playing in the UK, Keogh is likely to be the man Popovic relies on to lead the attack against Chelsea.

Andy Keogh
Andy Keogh