Grand Final preview: Perth Glory v Sydney FC
This is it. After a regular season full of surprises and a Finals Series to get the blood pumping, we have arrived at the business end of the Hyundai A-League campaign.
It is Perth Glory against Sydney FC at Optus Stadium on Sunday in the Hyundai A-League 2019 Grand Final, with kick-off at 4:30pm AWST (6:30pm AEST).
CONFIRMED: Match and ticket details for the Grand Final
HOW TO WATCH: Don't miss a minute of the 2019 Hyundai A-League Grand Final
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The West Australians have enjoyed a brilliant campaign under Coach of the Year Tony Popovic and swept all before them to finish with a maiden Premiers' Plate of the Hyundai A-League era.
It was not an easy path to the Grand Final for the premiers, however, even after going 2-0 up against Adelaide United in their Semi Final at HBF Park.
The Reds stormed back with two goals of their own – including a 94th-minute equaliser – and after the sides traded goals in extra-time the lottery of penalties came into play.
Luckily for Perth Liam Reddy put in the performance of a lifetime, saving four spot-kicks – and scoring one himself – to ensure Glory would get their shot at the double.
Equally remarkable was the progression of Sydney to the biggest match of the season, slapping Melbourne Victory with six goals to exact revenge for their dramatic defeat in the corresponding fixture a year earlier.
It is a clash of old vs new at Optus Stadium on Sunday, with the most successful team in recent history journeying west to face off against Popovic’s up-and-comers.
History suggests the Sky Blues may have the upper hand, given their two wins against Glory already this season, one of which came in the west back in Round 9.
Perth will back themselves to handle whatever Sydney throw at them, however, after last week’s drama against the Reds, and the chance to lift the Championship trophy in front of a record home crowd is sure to give them a boost.
For the neutral, the opportunity to see the likes of Diego Castro, Neil Kilkenny and the NAB Young Footballer of the Year Chris Ikonomidis go head-to-head with Sydney FC stars Alex Brosque, Milos Ninkovic and Siem de Jong is a match made in heaven.
Key Opta stats
- Sydney FC have won 10 of their last 11 Hyundai A-League games against Perth Glory (L1), including a 3-0 win in their only previous post-season clash (Semi Final, 2016/17).
- Perth Glory have lost only one of their last 10 Hyundai A-League games on home turf (W8, D1), keeping six clean sheets in that period.
- This will be Sydney FC's fifth appearance in a Hyundai A-League Grand Final (W3, L1) – only Melbourne Victory (6) have made more – and their first against a team other than Melbourne Victory since the competition's inaugural campaign (vs Central Coast Mariners, 2005-06).
Ins and outs
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, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 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: 16.Tomislav MRCELA (promoted), 22.Fabio FERREIRA (promoted)
Unavailable: 2.Alex GRANT (illness – 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.Danny DE SILVA, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE, 16. Reza GHOOCHANNEJHAD, 17. Anthony CACERES, 18. Jacob TRATT, 20.Alex CISAK (gk), 22. Siem de JONG, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 25. Joel KING. **two to be omitted**
Ins: 18. Jacob TRATT (promoted), 25. Joel KING (promoted)
Unavailable: 3.Ben WARLAND (ACL - indefinite), 12. Trent BUHAGIAR (ACL – indefinite), 19. Chris ZUVELA (ACL – indefinite).
How to watch
The Hyundai A-League 2019 Grand Final will be broadcast live on FOX Sports (Channel 505), and free-to-air on 10 Bold.
Tickets are going fast so make sure you don't miss out on the first national-league decider in Perth for more than 16 years. Secure your seat here