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Oct 07, 2022   |  12:23PM AET

Tony Popovic ahead of Round 1: Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory

Tony Popovic ahead of Round 1: Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory

Melbourne Victory Head Coach Tony Popovic spoke to media on Friday morning ahead of their Round One clash with Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.

On whether Nani will start in his league debut…

“He’s able to start. If everything goes well today, he starts.”

“He’s had a good pre-season, he’s settled in very well on and off the park…he’s raring to go and looks really excited and that’s rubbing off on all the players.”

“I’m confident he’ll put in a good performance tomorrow.”

On facing Sydney…

“They’re a fantastic football club. Last year they didn’t have a great season but if you look at their last five years, they’ve been extremely successful. We know that they’ll be very determined to have a strong season.”

“I experienced last season what the Big Blue is to the Melbourne Victory fans and the Sydney FC fans. I’m delighted we’re having a large number of our fans coming to the game, they’ll be there in big numbers and loud, I’m sure. It will be a great atmosphere against a club I expect to be challenging again.”

On Jason Geria and Tomi Juric’s injuries…

“Jason’s had a long-term injury (hip) and he’s coming to the back end of his recovery. He’s anywhere between two-to-six weeks before he plays. He’s recovering really well and we’re optimistic that we’ll see him out there sooner rather than later.”

“Tomi, we’re managing. He’s got nothing serious, we feel he could be available next week but we’re being a bit cautious with him due to his history with injuries. We want to make sure that when he’s out there, he can sustain his fitness and get that consistency that he wants and that we’d love to see so his talent can be shown on a regular basis.”

Watch the full press conference: