Sydney FC coach Steve Corica has praised the defensive strength of newly-crowned Premiers Plate winners Perth, as the Sky Blues look to end Glory's unbeaten A-League away record this season.
Second-placed Sydney host Glory at Jubilee Oval on Thursday, with Perth having the chance to go through an entire regular season campaign without an away defeat
Poor travellers in recent seasons Perth have won eight and drawn four on the road, heading into their last away game of the season.
Coach Tony Popovic has overseen a massive lift in defensive performance, with Glory conceding a league-low 22 goals after they conceded 50 last season and 53 the year before.
"He (Popovic) has changed the mindset. They were struggling to win away from home a lot of times and he's obviously changed that," Corica said.
"Defensively they are a lot stronger and they are playing good football, so he's obviously doing a good job with them.
"But my concern is about Sydney FC and making sure we are in the last game of the season which is the grand final."
Sydney enter the penultimate round of the regular season just two points ahead of third-placed Melbourne Victory, with the team finishing second earning a rest in week one of next month's finals series.
Corica admitted it stung the Sky Blues to see Perth lift the Premiers Plate last weekend.
"Of course it hurts, our plan at the start of the year was to win the premiership," he said.
"I didn't watch them pick up the Plate, I couldn't do that, it's a little bit hard to take sometimes but congratulations to them.
"But it's a different game tomorrow and we expect to win."
Captain Alex Brosque still has a sore heel from last weekend's derby against Western Sydney and trained lightly on Wednesday, but remains a chance of playing.
Brosque, the club's all-time appearance and goalscoring leader, announced on Monday he would retire at the end of the season.
Corica suggested the imminent end of the club legend's career would be a strong motivating factor for his teammates over the final part of their campaign.
Popovic will be without some key players, with injuries to Jason Davidson, Juande and Chris Ikonomidis, while Dino Djulbic and Andy Keogh were not selected.
STATS THAT MATTER
*Sydney have won their past five A-League home games against Perth.
*Glory are unbeaten in their past 14 A-League away games, just two behind the competition record of 16 held by Brisbane.
*Sydney are the only A-League club Perth's Diego Castro is yet to score against.
Stats supplied by Opta
Australian Associated Press