Changing of the guard: How do Perth and Sydney's Premiership wins compare?

Just four days after the Hyundai A-League Premiers Plate changed hands following Perth Glory’s Round 25 win over Newcastle Jets, Sydney FC and the newly-crowned premiers are set for a vital pre-Finals Series hit-out on Thursday night.

Before the WA club’s formidable rise under Tony Popovic this season, it was Sydney FC who were the competition benchmark.

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And in a statistical oddity, the Sky Blues sealed their 2017/18 Premiership win – their second in a row under the now Caltex Socceroos boss Graham Arnold – with a 3-2 triumph against the Glory in Round 25 of last season.

So how do the sides compare at this stage of the campaign? Let’s look at the stats behind the two most recent Premiership wins to see who might have the edge when Thursday evening’s battle commences.

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Perth Glory's 2018/19 stats so far

Opta Widget: ALeague

Points on the board

Each side clinched the Premiers Plate in Round 25.

Perth have lost just twice all season – to Sydney FC in December and Melbourne Victory in March – in comparison to the three matches in which Arnold’s Sky Blues tasted defeat by the same stage in the previous campaign. Sydney, though, had notched up one more win than their West Australian rivals. 

Glory have amassed 57 points compared to Sydney FC’s 58

Team

Perth Glory

Sydney FC

Season

2018/19

2017/18

Games

25

25

Wins

17

18

Draws

6

4

Losses

2

3

 

WATCH: Perth Glory seal the Premiers Plate against Newcastle Jets last Sunday

Bobo helps Sydney edge goal tally

Sydney FC mustered a devastating attacking force in 2017/18, led by Brazilian marksman Bobo and Polish maestro Adrian Mierzejewski

Bobo contributed a remarkable 24 of the 60 goals Arnold’s men had blasted at this stage last campaign, and the ruthless ex-Besiktas and Gremio man would add another three to his tally before the Finals Series.


In contrast, Perth have shared the attacking burden around this season, with Diego Castro, Andy Keogh and Chris Ikonomidis all in excellent form. Popovic’s side have amassed 51 goals – nine short of Sydney FC’s total, although both sides boast remarkably similar shot counts.

The West Australians have fired off 335 shots in total compared to Sydney FC’s 333. The Sky Blues were slightly more accurate – edging shots on target 142 to 140 – and marginally more clinical too, notching an 18% conversion rate compared to Perth’s 15%.

Team

Perth Glory

Sydney FC

Season

2018/19

2017/18

Goals

51

60

Goals (penalties)

6

10

Goals (inside box)

48

56

Goals (outside box)

3

4

WATCH: Bobo scores his 24th goal of the 2017/18 campaign for Sydney FC ... against Perth Glory

The stamp of two hard taskmasters

Ex-Australia internationals Arnold and Popovic both champion defensive steel and collective work rate off the ball, so it is not a great surprise to see Perth and Sydney FC share the identical amount of goals conceded (22) at this stage of the season.

However, Glory have edged the clean sheet-count 11 to 10, with veteran shot-stopper Liam Reddy’s fine form rewarded with a two-year contract extension in March.

The two teams also share a similar tackle percentage rate and are identical in their duel success.

Team

Perth Glory

Sydney FC

Season

2018/19

2017/18

Clean Sheets

11

10

Tackle Success

59%

64%

Duel Success

52%

52%

Fouls Won

307

348

Fouls Conceded

266

324

WATCH: Sydney FC got the better of Perth Glory back in December

Deadly on the break

Just like their defensive organisation, Perth and Sydney FC sides offer a similar clinical threat on the counter attack.

And although not a measure of their joint excellence in transition football, the near-exact number of passes (Perth 9858, Sydney FC 9851) indicates a distinct similarity in the way both teams assert their control in matches.

The Glory edge Sydney FC in passing accuracy (80% to 79%) but the Sky Blues shade possession (54% to 51%).

Team

Perth Glory

Sydney FC

Season

2018/19

2017/18

Passes

12247

12428

Passes Successful

9858

9851

Passing Accuracy

80%

79%

Crosses Open

313

291

Crosses Open, Successful

68

69

Possession

51%

54%

Perth Glory coach Tony Popovic and Steve Corica, of Sydney FC
Tony Popovic (left) and Sydney boss Steve Corica will lead their troops into battle on Thursday