Melbourne Victory face a nervous wait on whether they'll get to hold up the A-League Men premiers plate but are poised to take advantage of the lengthy break that will come with a near-guaranteed top-two finish.
Victory leapt into top spot (48 points) two points ahead of Melbourne City and three clear of Western United, by winning 4-1 at Sydney FC on Saturday night.
City can claim the premiership with a win over Wellington on Monday but Western United would have to beat Adelaide United away by more than six goals on Sunday to leapfrog Victory.
It means a top-two finish, and therefore a week off in the first week of finals, is effectively locked in.
"Coming in the top two gives you the week without a game. So that's the first part," Popovic said.
"The second part is we can still finish first so we can still win that premiers plate, so there's still a trophy there that's ours at the moment.
"Unless that changes Monday, the trophy is ours. So we've put ourselves in a position to do that.
"Then we get now time to prepare ... unless Western United can win by six. You'd like to think away from home that's difficult."
Popovic said Victory hadn't yet discussed their plans for watching their rivals' games.
"That's something we'll discuss as a club," he said.
"We didn't talk about any of that because our focus is on this game.
"We want to win of course and we showed that we deserve to win.
"The boys are certainly delivering and they have throughout the whole season for me and in these last three months they've been phenomenal."
Nick D'Agostino scored a wonderful individual goal against Sydney while Jake Brimmer scored a free kick and put in several terrific set pieces.
"It's a new group and as we've gone along this journey we feel we keep improving, keep evolving our game and with that comes confidence and I think it's showing with a lot of our younger players," Popovic said.
"It's great to see these young boys really stepping up in big moments."
Popovic was confident D'Agostino would overcome aggravating an existing shoulder complaint.
Matthew Spiranovic was rested, and Popovic said that was because Victory were uncertain pre-game how soon he'd be required to play in a final.
He expected the veteran defender to be ready for finals.