You are using an older browser version. Please use a supported version for the best MSN experience.

A-League history there to be broken: Popa

NZN 30/04/2016 By Emma Kemp

History is against Western Sydney winning Sunday's A-League grand final - but history is there to be broken, according to coach Tony Popovic.

Few sides have lifted the championship trophy away from home, with just one in the competition's 10 years managing to clinch a decider interstate, when Sydney FC beat Melbourne Victory on penalties in 2010 at Etihad stadium.

The Wanderers will attempt to become the second when they play Adelaide United for the title at Adelaide Oval.

"History is there to be broken," Popovic said.

"And history will be broken tomorrow, because either us or Adelaide will win their first championship.

"So that's not a concern for us - we control what we can control.

"We've had a good record away from home, we believe in our football whether that's home or away and, tomorrow, we're in Adelaide because Adelaide finished first.

"They're the premiers and deserve to have the grand final at home.

"That does not mean we can't win the final.

"We're full of confidence - we're used to big games and, this time, we do it in front of 50,000 people in Adelaide."

The fully-fit Wanderers held their final training session on Saturday at Coopers Stadium, having opted against training on Friday at Adelaide Oval.

Popovic brushed it off as simply not being part of his program.

The famously hard and fast venue is not used often by United, although the Reds have slightly more experience on the surface than their visitors.

"They haven't played a lot of football there, but they'd be more accustomed to the pitch than what we would," Popovic said.

"We've played many big games in our fourth season now where we haven't trained or prepared on the actual pitch that we've played on.

"It hasn't affected us so far and we believe we'll be able to handle the pitch tomorrow."

A low-scoring tactical contest is the dominant prediction but the Reds are narrow favourites to beat the Wanderers to a maiden title.

Not only because of the familiar venue and home crowd, but also due to the fact Guillermo Amor's playing group have enjoyed an extra two days' rest, while the Wanderers endured a sapping semi-final that went to extra-time.

None of it mattered to Popovic, who insisted his players were fresh and ready for the club's third grand final in four years.

"Perceptions are perceptions, and everyone will have their view and opinion - that's fair enough.

"But we've trained and played all year for this moment.

"You have to be prepared that your semi-final could go the distance, and you have to be prepared that the final could go the distance.

"We're comfortable with any scenario tomorrow."

image beaconimage beaconimage beacon