Wanderers ‘equally as dangerous’ as Glory: Popovic

Perth’s attack has attracted plenty of headlines in recent weeks but Tony Popovic feels Western Sydney’s strike force is just as lethal as Glory’s in-form frontline.

What’s more, Popovic said keeper Liam Reddy’s performance in last week’s Sydney derby will earn him another start and he now feels he has two players for every position.

The Hyundai A-League-leading Wanderers welcome Glory to Pirtek Stadium on Friday night in what shapes, arguably, as the game of Round 21.

Glory is riding high on the back of a five-game winning streak and have lit up the competition with some breath-taking attacking play.

Glory's Shane Lowry and Chris Harold celebrate one of their side's six goals against the Roar at nib Stadium.

Kenny Lowe’s side has scored 20 goals in their last six games, including a 6-3 carve-up of previous league-leaders Brisbane Roar last weekend.

“We have to be aware [of their threats] but we can’t be afraid of it either,” Popovic told reporters on Thursday.

“We need to control the game as we like to do and I believe we have a front third that’s equally as dangerous. 

“[Our attack] has proven to play some very good football, create some great chances and score some great goals.

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic watches over a training session.

“We have to respect them, be aware of them but know we have the game to win tomorrow.

“Kenny’s done a great job, they’ve recruited very well. We always have a tough game against them, now they’ll come here full of confidence.

“It will be two teams going for the three points. We’ll get what we expect, it will be a tough match but we believe at home in front of our fans if we play to our ability we’ll get the job done.”

Key points:

  • Spanish centre-back Alberto Aguilar returns from suspension and will start against Glory.
  • Western Sydney have scored at least once in all 11 of their previous matches against the Glory
  • After a strong first-half showing in the derby, Popovic said he’s after a “90-minute” performance on Friday night.

While the Wanderers top the table heading into the final seven rounds, they haven’t won any of their last three matches.

Their last match at Wanderland saw them humbled 5-2 by Wellington, that game sandwiched in between two away draws against Victory and Sydney FC.

“If you look at each game, going away to Melbourne against Victory and getting a point is a very good point,” Popovic explained of his side’s form.

“We had a poor game against Wellington and we have to accept that. Then going away to Sydney in a derby is a good point.

“In between those two good performances and good results we had one bad game and we want to get back to the home form we showed against Melbourne City.”

The two sides have already met twice this season, with the Wanderers winning 1-0 at home in Round 4 before they played out a 2-2 draw in Perth in December.