No backward steps as Perth Glory plot 'dream' Chelsea upset

Tony Popovic's "unique" will to win has Perth Glory primed to deliver a pre-season upset of Premier League giants Chelsea, according to veteran Brendon Santalab.

Perth's progress under Popovic will face heavy scrutiny from some of the world's top talent in a showpiece friendly at Optus Stadium on Monday night.

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Alvaro Morata, Cesc Fabregas, David Luiz and big-money midfield signing Jorginho are among the established internationals seeking to impress the new Blues manager with Maurizio Sarri set to take charge of his first match.

Their arrival in Western Australia comes as Popovic attempts to transform Glory into Hyundai A-League title contenders by instilling his trademark discipline.

Santalab, who has reunited with his former Western Sydney Wanderers coach, insists any lapse in mentality against last season's FA Cup winners will not be tolerated.

"It's just the way that Popa coaches and the way he puts things across," the 35-year-old told

"It's what makes him probably the best coach in the A-League. There are no surprises, we'll go out there with a winning mentality.

"You're playing Chelsea so you obviously have to pick your defence and make sure your structures are good to stop all the class and quality they have.

"I'm looking forward to what will be an interesting match and hopefully one that we can spring an upset. The mentality is to go out there and create an upset."

Brendon Santalab and Tony Popovic
Santalab and Popovic won the AFC Champions League together.

Santalab credited the success he has shared with Popovic and the former Caltex Socceroo's "dedication and will" to win as making his off-season switch to Glory an easy decision.

The move has afforded the super-sub striker a chance to square off against world-class opposition and he is adamant the opportunity won't be wasted.

"It's a huge game and one that we take very seriously and I'm very honoured to have a big club like this come to Australia," the ex-Wanderers man said.

"[But] there's no fun and games for us, it's all serious and another great step in our preparation for the A-League season.

"Obviously, a fantastic spectacle for the fans and on the pitch an upset would be a memory created forever for all of us players and for the club, and what a dream that would be."