Melbourne Victory welcomes Perth Glory to AAMI Park this Sunday, and ahead of the most anticipated match of the season to date defender, Tommy Deng says individually and collectively the boys in blue are ready for the challenge.
“Everyone’s been calm. Everyone is ready and really focused for this big game,” Deng said.
“First versus second, the last time they got one over us here, so we’ll be looking to get one back with the crowd behind us.”
The two sides played out a five-goal thriller in Round 2, Melbourne Victory pulling level late on before Perth secured all three points in stoppage time.
That night it was Perth who bound from the blocks and Deng believes that once again a good start will be crucial.
“That’s the most important thing for us – our start. We know that our second half is strong, it’s about rectifying the first half and fixing little things early on before conceding.
“On Sunday we can’t afford to concede [early goals], so defensively we’ll be on our game.
“[Since Round 2] we’ve had a good run of performances, backing up week in, week out. We’re working hard on the training track to improve every week.
“They’ve got good players in that front line, but for us it doesn’t matter. [For us] its about how we prepare and we’ll be ready for the task ahead.”
Adding to the stakes and spectacle of the day will be the Westfield W-League Semi-Final, which also sees Melbourne Victory host Perth Glory.
Jeff Hopkins’ side secured their maiden premiership last weekend, their reward coming in the form of a home first final.
Win on Sunday and that will become a home Grand Final, and Deng encourages all Melbourne Victory fans to make a day of it.
“It’s wonderful, it's beautiful for the Club,” Deng said.
“We support the girls one hundred percent, they’ve had a fantastic season and we’re very happy for them.
“It’s a massive achievement and they go into the Semi Final with an extra boost now.
“The fans are massive [on days like this]. Whenever they get behind the team it gives us a lift to go harder. We’ll need everyone on Sunday, so hopefully the come down.”
Melbourne Victory’s Westfield W-League Semi-Final kicks off at 2pm, followed by Hyundai A-League Round 18 action at 5pm.