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Australian Football: Popa wary of striker threat

Melbourne Victory coach Tony Popovic knows how dangerous Newcastle Jets striker Beka Mikeltadze is after signing him while in charge of Greek side Xanthi FC.

Victory are priced at 3/1 to win the 2021/22 A-League grand final and will be hoping to pick up a crucial three points when they face the Jets on Saturday.

Dangerous striker

Mikeltadze has been a revelation since arriving in Australia and has netted six goals in seven games for Arthur Papas' Jets outfit.

He will be looking to add to that against Victory and Popovic is well aware of just how good the 24-year-old is having signed him for Xanthi.

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The striker went on to shine in Greece and Popovic says Victory will have to keep a very close eye on him on Saturday.

"I know him from Greece because we actually signed him at (Xanthi FC) just before I left," Popovic told reporters. "I know the boy well and I know he's a talented player, he's mobile, he's athletic, he's young. I'm sure he will just get better and better."

Hectic schedule

Victory won the FFA Cup last weekend and then slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Wellington Phoenix in midweek. Now it is a clash with the Jets as the games come think and fast.

And Popovic believes it could be a case of survival of the fittest when it comes to winning the premiership this season.

"Each season and each period in a year brings about different challenges," Popovic added.

"It will come down to how fit your players are. How good your squad is and when I say how good, how deep your squad is. That will certainly show at the end of the season."

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