Tony Popovic is expecting Melbourne Victory to provide his side with a stern challenge in Saturday's clash at Kogarah's Netsrata Jubilee Stadium (kick-off at 3pm WST).
The navy-and-whites come into the game two points off the foot of the ladder having won just once in their last 12 outings and lost all three of their games since the Hyundai A-League season resumed.
But according to the Head Coach, there is no danger of Glory underestimating a team that they are yet to beat this term.
"Victory are a big club and big clubs can go through these periods and they're going through one this year," he said.
"But we're all sure that Melbourne Victory will bounce back quickly and be challenging for honours once more.
"At the moment they're in a phase where they don't have a [permanent] manager, they have a caretaker and they're playing a lot of young players who are getting experience.
"They're fighting for their contracts and their careers to see whether they'll be at Melbourne Victory next year, so it's been a good experience for them.
"We know we'll face a team full of energy, full of enthusiasm, with nothing to lose and that can always be dangerous.
"So we'll certainly respect Victory tomorrow regardless of the position that they're in and we know they have players that are good enough to hurt anyone in any given moment."
In terms of injury news, Popovic confirmed that Ivan Franjic will be closely monitored during Friday's training session after picking up a knee injury in the process of scoring the opener during Tuesday's victory over Western Sydney.
"It's hard to report on that [injury situation] at the moment," he said.
"We haven't had a full team training session as yet, we'll have one this afternoon [Friday] - it's basically just been recovery for the last couple of days.
"We've got some players who have bumps and bruises and are still pretty sore from the Western Sydney game and we'll see how they pull up after today's training and determine the squad from there.
"Ivan is still sore from the impact.
"He had a light jog yesterday and I'm not too sure how much work he can do today.
"But Ivan is quite confident this morning that he can train, so that's a real positive.
"A couple of other players haven't done any running in the last couple of days.
"Kristian [Popovic] is one of them... from the infection he had in his foot from the game, so there are three or four players that we need to see how they pull up to decide if they'll be available for tomorrow.
"Thankfully for us we've had no muscle injuries so far since we've been here and we certainly hope that continues."
The Head Coach went on to hint that Saturday's clash might see some game-time handed to a number of players who have not featured regularly since the campaign resumed.
"A lot of them have backed up in most of the games that we've been playing from the outset," he said, "and we've got other players that haven't had many minutes who are really keen to get out there.
"Maybe tomorrow will be an opportunity for them; we'll have to wait and see how our injury situation is and how the players pull up.
"We want to win two in a row which is something that we haven't managed to do since we've been in the hub and Saturday presents us with the chance to do that."
A win for Glory would ensure the club's place in the finals for the fourth time in the past five seasons and also keep their hopes of forcing their way into the top three very much alive.
Saturday, 8 August 2020
Perth Glory v Melbourne Victory
Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah
Kick-Off: 3:00pm (WST) (5:00pm (Local))
Referee: Chris Beath
Assistant Referee 1: Owen Goldrick
Assistant Referee 2: Greg Taylor
Fourth Official: Alex King
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 503 from 5:00pm (AEST), ABC TV from 3:00pm (WST) and Sky Sport 7 (New Zealand), Kayo Sports (www.kayosports.com.au) and MyFootball Live App, Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #PERvMVC
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, 18.Nick D'AGOSTINO, 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)
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 3.Jacob TRATT (promoted), 7.Joel CHIANESE (promoted)
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matt ACTON (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 4.James DONACHIE, 6.Leigh BROXHAM (c), 7.Kenny ATHIU, 9.Andrew NABBOUT, 13.Birkan KIRDAR, 15.Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO, 16.Josh HOPE, 17.Elvis KAMSOBA, 18.Migjen BASHA, 21.Adama TRAORE, 23.Marco ROJAS, 25.Brandon LAUTON, 26.Jay BARNETT, 30.Matthew SUTTON (gk), 31.Aaron ANDERSON, 38.So NISHIKAWA, 39.Lleyton BROOKS, 43.Luis LAWRIE-LATTANZIO
**2-4 to be omitted**
In: 9.Andrew NABBOUT (return from injury), 39.Lleyton BROOKS (promoted)
Unavailable: 5.Tim HOOGLAND (released), 8.Jakob POULSEN (released), 10.Robbie KRUSE (knee - season), 11.Ola TOIVONEN (released), 20.Lawrence Thomas (released), 24.Anthony LESIOTIS (injured – ankle)