In the frame: Mark Bridge is in line for a shock return to the Wanderers' line-up for Sunday's A-League grand final against Brisbane Roar.

In the frame: Mark Bridge is in line for a shock return to the Wanderers' line-up for Sunday's A-League grand final against Brisbane Roar. Photo: Getty Images

Western Sydney Wanderers forward Mark Bridge could be a shock inclusion for Sunday’s A-League grand final, according to coach Tony Popovic.

Bridge was officially ruled out on Thursday with an ankle injury but Popovic decided Bridge had improved enough over the past 48 hours to take another look at the two-time grand final winner.

The 28-year-old trained with the Wanderers on Saturday in their official pre-match training hit-out at Suncorp Stadium, completing enough drills to suggest he may play some part in the grand final and possibly even start.

Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic and Nikolai Topor-Stanley with Brisbane Roar captain Matt Smith and coach Mike Mulvey at a media conference ahead of the A-League 2014 Grand Final. Click for more photos

A-League 2014 Grand Final preparations

Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic and Nikolai Topor-Stanley with Brisbane Roar captain Matt Smith and coach Mike Mulvey at a media conference ahead of the A-League 2014 Grand Final. Photo: Michelle Smith

He was able to move freely on his left foot, stretching and jogging seemingly without restriction. That marked a stark contrast from last week’s semi-final, when he left Parramatta Stadium in a moon boot following the Wanderers’ 2-0 win over Central Coast.

Popovic confirmed Bridge was getting better by the day and was now very much in his thoughts.

“We’re very close to deciding our starting side, the only one [uncertain] is Bridgey, who we need to have another look at today to make sure he’s OK,” Popovic said. “But if he’s OK today then the eleven is settled from my side.”

The Roar had a selection drama of their own last week with ex-Manchester United midfielder Liam Miller having a groin complaint.

He has been restricted at training all week but Roar coach Mike Mulvey has no qualms about the Irishman being fit for Sunday.

“Yes, Liam will be good. We kept him out of training for a precaution this morning. He just did some straight line running,” Mulvey said. “It was probably the safest bet, rather than getting him to do some directional movement because he’s got a big game to play tomorrow.”

Wanderers defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley said the feeling in the squad could not be better leading into the title decider.

“It’s great to be one game away from another championship and two grand finals in two years is a testament to all the hard work we’ve put in all year,” he said.

Popovic said the estimated 10,000 travelling fans – who will spend the entire game chanting and cheering on their feet – would do plenty to diminish the significantly greater home support.

“Our fans are very passionate, very vocal and we may be smaller in numbers, but they’ll certainly make some noise,” he said. “It’s special, not just for our team, but I think they’ve been special for the A-League. They travel all over the country to support us. They are people driving, on trains and on flights – if they were lucky enough to get them – to see us play. They’ll add to the atmosphere and we’re honoured to have that kind of support.”

While theories abound about how to handle the hoopla of grand final week in any code, Popovic said he was happy for his players to simply “enjoy it”.

“It’s been a normal week in terms of our training and preparation but it is a different week, a grand final week, and you want to soak that up as well,” he said. “The week has been good. In terms of comparing from last year to this year, we’ve probably learned from that experience of last year and we’re probably in a better place and we’re more prepared for it. Hopefully that will show tomorrow on the field as well.”

With Topor-Stanley appearing at the media conference, Popovic confirmed with a single word – “Yes” – that Wanderers captain Michael Beauchamp would not be named in the final squad on Sunday.

It is possible Beauchamp, who is out of contract, has played his last A-League match for the club..