Semi-Final preview: Perth Glory v Adelaide United
It will be a weekend to celebrate for either Perth Glory or Adelaide United with one of these teams to book their spot in the Hyundai A-League Grand Final on Friday night.
Glory and the Reds do battle at HBF Park (kick-off 8.30pm AEST), with the winner heading into the decider.
Tony Popovic’s side will rightly start favourites to do just that given their incredible season thus far.
Perth hardly put a foot wrong during the regular season, sweeping all before them to wrap-up the Premiership with games to spare.
While landing the club’s maiden piece of silverware in the Hyundai A-League era is reason enough to celebrate, Popovic has ensured Glory are hungry to win the double.
After all, the Championship trophy remains elusive for Popa despite coaching in three previous Grand Finals (2012/13, 2013/14 and 2015/16) during his time at Western Sydney Wanderers.
Adelaide booked their spot in the Semi-Final thanks to a gruelling 1-0 win over Melbourne City on Sunday night.
The Reds had to play for 120 energy-sapping minutes to see off City and are almost certain to carry some fatigue into their clash with Perth.
Coach Marco Kurz will spend most of the week doing his best to come up with a game-plan to stop Glory, while also trying to allow his squad plenty of time to rest and recover.
If there’s one team that will exploit any signs of tiredness it’s Perth, who are one of the fittest teams in the competition under Popovic.
And it’s Glory that have dominated the head-to-head encounters with the Reds this season.
The premiers are unbeaten in all three clashes - winning two (both 2-0) – and are yet to concede a goal against Adelaide, although the only fixture at HBF Park ended 0-0.
Key Opta stats
- This will be the first Final Series clash between Perth Glory and Adelaide United in Hyundai A-League history; however, the Reds have lost only three of their last 10 clashes against the Glory at HBF Park (W3, D4).
- Glory are the only team in the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season yet to concede a goal within the opening 15 minutes of a game.
- Adelaide United have a save percentage of 75% when playing away from home in the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season, the second best of any team in the competition (Melbourne Victory, 80%).
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: 4.Shane LOWRY (promoted), 22.Fabio FERREIRA (promoted), 27.JUANDE (returns from injury)
Outs: 29.Kristian POPOVIC (omitted)
Unavailable: 2.Alex GRANT (illness – 1 week)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Daniel MARGUŠ (gk), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 6.Vince LIA, 7.Ryan KITTO, 8.Isaías SÁNCHEZ (c), 9.Baba DIAWARA, 11.Craig GOODWIN, 14.George BLACKWOOD, 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS, 17.Nikola MILEUSNIĆ, 20.Paul IZZO (gk), 22.Michael JAKOBSEN, 23.Jordan ELSEY, 26.Ben HALLORAN, 31.Mirko BOLAND, 32.Carlo ARMIENTO, 33.Apostolos STAMATELOPOULOS **two to be omitted**
Ins: 16.Nathan KONSTANDOPOULOS (promoted), 32.Carlo ARMIENTO (promoted)
Unavailable: 10.Ken ILSØ (suspended)
How to watch
All Hyundai A-League 2019 Finals Series matches will be broadcast live on FOX SPORTS, 10 Bold, Sky Sport NZ and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers. You can also subscribe to Kayo Sports.
Make sure you get your seat at HBF Park as Glory and the Reds battle for a spot in the 2019 Hyundai A-League Grand Final. Click HERE for tickets!