The final match of Round 1 promises to be a thriller, as Tony Popovic kicks off his Perth Glory reign against Western Sydney Wanderers at 7.00pm (AEDT).
Popovic led the Wanderers to Premiership glory in their inaugural season and has lured Red and Black legend Brendon Santalab to Western Australia to turn Glory into title fighters.
A new era also commences in the opposite dugout, with Markus Babbel attempting to lift the Wanderers back to the summit of the Hyundai A-League.
KEY OPTA STATS
- There has been just one clean sheet kept in the last eight games between Perth and Western Sydney, with the Glory picking up a 20 win against the Wanderers in Round 21, 2016/17.
- The Glory are undefeated in their last five Round 1 games at nib Stadium (W2, D3), though they’ve begun just one of their last five Hyundai A-League campaigns at home prior to this season.
- The Wanderers have lost their last three games on the bounce away from home, conceding exactly three goals on each occasion; the last time they lost more in succession on the road was an eight-game drought from May 2014 to February 2015.
THEY SAID IT
“We’re just itching to get out there and play for points. Given the history between the clubs with Popa [Tony Popovic] now coaching Perth Glory and for myself and a few others having played for Western Sydney at some point the last few years.” – Glory defender Matthew Spiranovic
“We know we will play against a physically strong team, and if we are not ready we have no chance.” - Wanderers boss Markus Babbel
INS AND OUTS
Perth Glory squad: 1.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Jason DAVIDSON, 4.Shane LOWRY (c), 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 6.Dino DJULBIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 9.Andy KEOGH, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 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**
Unavailable: 11.Brendon SANTALAB (hamstring – 1-2 weeks), 14.Chris HAROLD (illness – 1 week), 17.Diego CASTRO (hamstring – 1-2 weeks), 21.Jacob ITALIANO (knee – 1-2 weeks), 25.Walter SCOTT (international duty)
Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 1.Danijel NIZIC (gk), 4.Josh RISDON, 5.Brendan HAMILL (c), 7.Nick FITZGERALD, 8.Jordan O’DOHERTY, 9.Oriol RIERA, 10.Alexander BAUMJOHANN, 11.Bruce KAMAU, 12.Ruon TONGYIK, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 17.Keanu BACCUS, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Rashid MAHAZI, 23.Lachlan SCOTT, 24.Raul LLORENTE, 28.Roly BONEVACIA, 49.Abraham MAJOK **two to be omitted**
Unavailable: 6.Kosta GROZOS (international duty), 13.Tass MOURDOUKOUTAS (international duty), 18. Marc TOKICH (international duty), 19.Mark BRIDGE (injury – 6 weeks), 32.John ROBERTS (international duty), 33.Tate RUSSELL (international duty), 34.Patrick ZIEGLER (injury – 2 weeks)
WATCH ON TV
Tune in to FOX SPORTS 505 to see Popovic and Glory take on the Wanderers, with kick off at 7.00pm (AEDT), or stream the match live on the MyFootball Live App.
Secure your ticket to Perth Glory v Western Sydney Wanderers here.