Both Sydney FC and Perth Glory head into Wednesday’s gigantic Semi-Final clash aiming to grasp a piece of Hyundai A-League history in the 2020 Finals Series.
Tony Popovic’s six-seeds navigated their way past third-placed finishers Wellington Phoenix in Saturday’s Elimination Final as Joel Chianese’s goal clinched a 1-0 win to set up a mouth-watering rematch of the dramatic 2019 Grand Final.
No sixth-place finisher has ever lifted the Hyundai A-League Championship, and the Western Australian outfit will need to avenge the heartache they suffered following a painful penalty shootout defeat in their own backyard against Steve Corica’s troops back in May 2019.
The Sky Blues are seeking to write their own legacy and become the first Hyundai A-League club to claim five Championships, and only the second team to retain the title following Brisbane Roar’s back-to-back prizes in 2011 and 2012.
The Harbour City club have already secured three Premierships in the past four years, during an era when former head coach Graham Arnold passed the torch on to his deputy Corica, and another triumph in the big dance this year would match that total of three Championships in four years.
While Glory return to the Bankwest Stadium turf only four days after their latest success, Sydney will have faced an 11-day wait since their last outing as the newly-crowned Premiers ended an elongated campaign in a low key manner, winning only one of six games since the competition’s restart including a run of five straight matches without a victory.
Sydney FC v Perth Glory
When: Wednesday, August 26
Kick-off: 8.10pm AEST
Venue: Bankwest Stadium
Broadcast: FOX Sports 507
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports
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Sydney FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 2.Patrick FLOTTMANN, 3.Ben WARLAND, 4.Alex WILKINSON (c), 5.Alex BAUMJOHANN, 6.Ryan McGOWAN, 8.Paulo RETRE, 9.Adam LE FONDRE, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 12.Trent BUHAGIAR, 16.Joel KING, 17.Anthony CACERES, 18.Luke IVANOVIC, 19.Chris ZUVELA, 20.Thomas HEWARD-BELLE (gk), 21.Harry VAN DER SAAG, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 28. Calem NIEUWENHOF
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 3.Ben WARLAND (promoted), 8. Paulo RETRE (return from rest week), 28. Calem NIEUWENHOF (promoted).
Outs: 7.Michael ZULLO (injury – 1 week).
Perth Glory Squad: 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Jacob TRATT, 5.Ivan FRANJIC, 7.Joel CHIANESE, 8.James MEREDITH, 9.Bruno FORNAROLI, 13.Osama MALIK, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Vince LIA, 23.Dane INGHAM, 25.Carlo ARMIENTO, 27.JUANDE, 28.Gabriel POPOVIC, 29.Kristian POPOVIC, 33.Liam REDDY (GK), 50.Daniel MARGUSH (GK), 88.Neil KILKENNY (C), 61.Yianni PERKATIS
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Alex GRANT (returns from injury), 3.Jacob TRATT (promoted)
Unavailable: 18.Nick D'AGOSTINO (injured - hamstring)
Did you know?
- Sydney FC have won 12 of their last 14 Hyundai A-League games against Perth Glory (D1, L1), and have defeated them in both of their previous two post-season encounters in the competition.
- Three of Sydney FC's last four post-season games in the A-League have gone into extra time, of which two were decided in a penalty shootout.
- Perth Glory will be hunting back-to-back Hyundai A-League wins for the first time since January this year after their Elimination Final win over Wellington Phoenix.
- Kosta Barbarouses has scored six goals in Hyundai A-League finals games; only Besart Berisha (10) and Archie Thompson (10) have scored more.