What Hyundai A-League history teaches us about the first four rounds

Perth Glory are gathering pace in the Hyundai A-League as Tony Popovic's off-season overhaul pays immediate dividends.

The determined former Western Sydney Wanderers boss has stirred hope of a title tilt by guiding his new club to top spot after the opening four rounds.

But what does history say about the value of early points in a competition that saw Melbourne Victory come from fourth to be crowned Champions in May?

The Opta data from past campaigns provides some compelling links to the current climate.

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Positive omens for Perth

Glory supporters can be forgiven for getting swept in the hype attached to their fast start.

After all, history indicates they are in for plenty of joy after bettering their previous club record of nine points from four rounds.

Silverware certainly appears on the agenda with the team top of the table at this stage of the season going on to lift the Premiers Plate eight times.

The absolute minimum expectation will be a place in the top six, achieved by all but two previous Round 4 leaders.

Sydney FC most recently fell away in 2015/16, while Perth themselves tripped up after a bright beginning in 2010/11, a memory which may lead to a pause for introspection. 

Perth Glory fans

Glory's cautionary tale

For all of the makeover work completed by Popovic, Perth fans will know better than most to not get too far ahead of themselves.

The team of 2010/11 lingers as a source of unease about the possible falsehoods inherent within bright beginnings.

Glory were unbeaten after five rounds that season having beaten Melbourne Victory, Newcastle Jets and Wellington Phoenix.

Then came a dramatic sequence of seven straight losses, culminating in a 5-0 crushing at the hands of Central Coast Mariners.

Under the stewardship of Ian Ferguson, Perth ultimately tumbled to an undignified 10th, the lowest finishing position of any Round 4 frontrunner.

Circumstances can quickly change.

Ian Ferguson

Top marksmen setting impressive pace

Former Republic of Ireland international Andy Keogh has spearheaded Perth's charge to top spot, netting four goals in as many games.

He's joined atop the formative scoring charts by expert poacher Adam Le Fondre, who has taken no time to adjust at Sydney FC.

Keogh has previously enjoyed a blistering start - hitting the same mark in 2014/15 - but only three men have scored more before Round 5.

Roy O'Donovan (2017/18) scored five in his debut campaign with Newcastle Jets, while Hyundai A-League greats Besart Berisha (2011/12) and Shane Smeltz (2009/10) share the record with six.

Can Keogh and Le Fondre maintain the standard?

It will be captivating to watch as a pair of on-song strikers attempt to keep the competition's top two teams ahead of the pack.

Adam Le Fondre