This is it. After a regular season full of surprises and a Finals Series to get the blood pumping, we have arrived at the business end of the Hyundai A-League campaign.
It is Perth Glory against Sydney FC at Optus Stadium on Sunday in the Hyundai A-League 2019 Grand Final, with kick-off at 4:30pm AWST (6:30pm AEST).
It was not an easy path to the Grand Final for the Premiers, however, even after going 2-0 up against Adelaide United in their Semi Final at HBF Park.
The Reds stormed back with two goals of their own – including a 94th-minute equaliser – and after the sides traded goals in extra-time the lottery of penalties came into play.
Luckily for Perth Liam Reddy put in the performance of a lifetime, saving four spot-kicks – and scoring one himself – to ensure Glory would get their shot at the double.
Equally remarkable was the progression of Sydney FC to the biggest match of the season, slapping Melbourne Victory with six goals to exact revenge for their dramatic defeat in the corresponding fixture a year earlier.
It is a clash of old vs new at Optus Stadium on Sunday, with the most successful team in recent history journeying west to face off against Popovic’s up-and-comers.
History suggests the Sky Blues may have the upper hand, given their two wins against Glory already this season, one of which came in the west back in Round 9.
Perth will back themselves to handle whatever Sydney FC throw at them, however, after last week’s drama against the Reds, and the chance to lift the Championship trophy in front of a record home crowd is sure to give them a boost.
For the neutral, the opportunity to see the likes of Diego Castro, Neil Kilkenny and the NAB Young Footballer of the Year Chris Ikonomidis go head-to-head with Sydney FC stars Alex Brosque, Milos Ninkovic and Siem de Jong is a match made in heaven.
Key Opta stats
- Sydney FC have won 10 of their last 11 Hyundai A-League games against Perth Glory (L1), including a 3-0 win in their only previous post-season clash (Semi Final, 2016/17).
- Perth Glory have lost only one of their last 10 Hyundai A-League games on home turf (W8, D1), keeping six clean sheets in that period.
- This will be Sydney FC's fifth appearance in a Hyundai A-League Grand Final (W3, L1) – only Melbourne Victory (6) have made more – and their first against a team other than Melbourne Victory since the competition's inaugural campaign (vs Central Coast Mariners, 2005-06).
Ins and outs
Sydney FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 2.Aaron CALVER, 4.Alex WILKINSON, 6.Josh BRILLANTE, 7. Michael ZULLO, 8.Paulo RETRE, 9.Adam LE FONDRE, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Danny DE SILVA, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE, 16. Reza GHOOCHANNEJHAD, 17. Anthony CACERES, 18. Jacob TRATT, 20.Alex CISAK (gk), 22. Siem de JONG, 23. Rhyan GRANT, 25. Joel KING.
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 18. Jacob TRATT (promoted), 25. Joel KING (promoted)
Unavailable: 3.Ben WARLAND (ACL - indefinite), 12. Trent BUHAGIAR (ACL – indefinite), 19. Chris ZUVELA (ACL – indefinite)
How to watch
You can also watch it live on the MyFootball Live App: Live Fast and Data Free for Telstra mobile customers. You can also subscribe to Kayo Sports.