By the numbers: Hyundai A-League 2019 Grand Final preview
Sydney FC’s long-standing dominance against Perth? Or Glory’s daunting recent performances on their own turf?
One of these records must fall. What else do the numbers reveal about the Hyundai A-League 2019 Grand Final between Perth Glory and Sydney FC?
Thanks to Opta data, let’s take a look at the best facts and figures behind the big dance.
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In beating Sydney 3-1 in January, Perth Glory consigned a curse which had hovered above the West Australian capital for over five years to the bin.
Joel Chianese was the star of the show on that occasion, haunting his former club with a double and an assist, and snapping that nine-match losing streak.
It was a victory which undoubtedly soothed a psychological burden for Tony Popovic's side, one of several statement wins made on the way to their Premiers' Plate victory.
Sydney FC's belief
Perth were enjoying the best start in club history prior to their first meeting of the season with Sydney in December.
Despite the optimism bubbling around HBF Park, Sydney's almighty recent record came to the fore in that Round 9 encounter, and Steve Corica's men posted a 2-1 win.
Sydney also pipped Perth 1-0 in Round 26 only days after Glory were crowned Premiers in April. All in all, they have won 10 of their last 11 games against Sunday's opponents, and top scorer Adam Le Fondre has scored in each of their three meetings this season.
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In terms of the big dance, this will be Sydney’s fifth visit. They’ve won three (2005/06, 2009/10, 2016/17) and lost one (2014/15).
Only Melbourne Victory (six) have been involved in more - and this will be their first against a team other than the Victory since their inaugural Grand Final win in 2005/06.
In contrast, this is Perth's second ever Grand Final appearance, after their 2011/12 loss to Brisbane Roar.
On a knife edge
Although this fixture has been unkind to Perth in recent years, Glory fans will draw immense confidence from their standard-setting campaign and in the way they have played at home in the final stretch of the season.
Tony Popovic’s men have only lost one of their last 10 Hyundai A-League games on home turf (a 2-0 loss to Melbourne Victory in March).
But more impressively, they’ve kept six clean sheets in that span. And after last Friday's chaotic Semi Final against Adelaide United, Popovic will undoubtedly have his troops drilled to the 'nth degree.