Match Preview - Popa salutes fans ahead of City clash

Glory Head Coach Tony Popovic has praised the atmosphere created by the club's members and fans ahead of Saturday's's eagerly-anticipated clash with Melbourne City.

The men in purple have picked up seven points from a possible nine at nib Stadium this term en route to top spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder.

And Popovic is sure that the home faithful will have their part to play in helping Glory secure what would be a fifth victory of the campaign this weekend.

Popa's presser in full

"In front of a big crowd, we can create an atmosphere that will hopefully be intimidating for them [City] and make it difficult for them," he said.

"Together with that support and a good performance, we can continue this great run.

"During my short time here, the noise and atmosphere that the crowd has created has been fantastic.

"Those [crowd] numbers will rise, I'm sure. The club is heading in the right direction. We need the people to feel a connection with the club and I feel that that is starting to happen. We need to keep playing the football we're playing in order to entice new fans to want to come and watch. 

"The fans that are coming are enjoying watching their team play and I envisage more to come.

"It [nib Stadium] reminds me a little bit of the old Parramatta Stadium and I experienced a great atmosphere there where you felt that the fans were right on top of the players.

"With 10,000 at nib Stadium, it feels like a real atmosphere and with 15 or 20,000, I'm sure the noise would be even more fantastic.

"But whatever the crowd is on Saturday, I'm sure they'll be right behind us."

Popovic went on to acknowledge that fifth-placed City will provide a tough challenge for his charges and hinted that skipper Diego Castro will see more game time after coming off the bench to grab a late equaliser against Wellington last time out.

"They [City] are a very good side," he said. "Their expectation is to be challenging for the title every year and I think as a club they should be.

"From what I've seen this year, everyone seems to think that they're not doing well but that they're not far off. They have some very talented individuals and some great young talent as well and we expect a difficult game.

"With Diego, we feel that he is getting stronger with each training session and he's shown in the games that he's looking better and better and he'll certainly play a part this week.

"It was a confidence boost for him to get the minutes he did over in Wellington."

Matthew Spiranovic could also feature for the hosts as he closes in on a return to full fitness, while City are again expected to be without striker Bruno Fornaroli.

Warren Joyce's men secured their first win at nib Stadium in nine attempts in Round 15 of last season, but Glory avenged that defeat six weeks later by downing the Victorians 2-1 courtesy of goals from Neil Kilkenny and Adam Taggart.

Match Details

Saturday, 8 December 2018

Perth Glory v Melbourne City FC

nib Stadium, Perth

Kick-Off: 7:00PM (Local) 

Referee: Peter Green

Assistant Referee 1: Josh Mannella

Assistant Referee 2: Matthew Southern

Fourth Official: Adam Fielding

VAR: Craig Zetter

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash tag #PER vMCY

Click HERE for tickets

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, 14.Chris HAROLD, 15.Brandon WILSON, 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 17.Diego CASTRO, 19.Chris IKONOMIDIS, 20.Jake BRIMMER, 22.Fabio FERREIRA, 33.Liam REDDY (gk), 88.Neil KILKENNY

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC (promoted), 14.Chris HAROLD (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 2.Alex GRANT (foot – 2 weeks), 23.Scott NEVILLE (ankle - 2 weeks), 27.JUANDE (knee – 1 week)

Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 2.Ritchie De LAET, 3.Scott JAMIESON (c) , 4.Harrison DELBRIDGE, 5.Bart SCHENKEVELD, 7.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 8.Riley McGREE, 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 13.Nathaniel ATKINSON, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 18.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 19.Lachlan WALES, 21.Ramy NAJJARINE, 22.Curtis GOOD, 25.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Florin BERENGUER-BOHRER, 34.Connor METCALFE

**two to be omitted**

Ins: 21.Ramy NAJJARINE (promoted), 34.Connor METCALFE (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 11.Michael O’HALLORAN (hamstring)

#OneGlory

Photo courtesy of Vision Inspired Photography