This one has a finals feel to it as two sides with genuine aspirations for the Premiers Plate meet at Wanderland in a Saturday night blockbuster.
MATCH DETAILSSaturday, 19 March 2016
Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Adelaide United
Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta
Kick-Off: 7:30 PM (Local) (7:30 PM (AEDT))
Referee: Takuto Okabe (Japan)
Assistant Referee 1: Owen Goldrick
Assistant Referee 2: Greg Taylor
Fourth Official: Strebre Delovski
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 891 ABC Adelaide, ABC Local Radio SA, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live.
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #WSWvADL
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets
Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 2.Shannon COLE, 3.Scott JAMIESON, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5.Brendan HAMILL, 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 7.Romeo CASTELEN, 8.DIMAS, 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 14.Golgol MEBRAHTU, 15.Kearyn BACCUS,16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 17.ALBERTO, 18.ANDREU, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 30.Liam REDDY (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Brendan HAMILL (promoted), 14.Golgol MEBRAHTU (promoted)
Adelaide United squad: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (c), 2.Michael MARRONE, 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 6.Stefan MAUK, 8.ISAIAS, 9.Sergio CIRIO, 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA, 11.Bruce DJITE, 12.Mark OCHIENG, 14.George MELLS, 15.Ben WARLAND, 16.Craig GOODWIN, 17.Mate DUGANDZIC, 20.John HALL (gk), 24.Bruce KAMAU, 25.Ruon TONGYIK, 26.Jordan PUDLER
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 12.Mark OCHIENG (promoted), 25.Ruon TONGYIK (promoted), 26.Jordan PUDLER (promoted)
Outs: 23.Jordan ELSEY (suspended – 1 week)
Unavailable: 7.PABLO SANCHEZ (hamstring – 1 week), 19.Eli BABALJ (knee – season), 21.Tarek ELRICH (groin – 3 weeks)
They’ve both enjoyed the view at the Hyundai A-League summit in last fortnight but it will be 2v3 when the Wanderers host the Reds on Saturday night.
With the other two sides in top four - Roar and City - squaring off on Friday night a win will go a long way to securing an all-important top two finish.
The spoils have been shared in the sides’ two previous encounters this season, with neither team able to find the back of the net when they last met at Pirtek back in Round 13.
The Reds will have the benefit of two extra days rest after their record unbeaten run came to an end against City last weekend, while the Wanderers will need to be more clinical in their finishing having edged past the Jets.
Japanese FIFA referee Takuto Okabe will take charge of the match as part of the A-League’s continuing partnership with the JFA.
• Western Sydney are undefeated in their last three matches against Adelaide United, though both of their last two encounters ended in a draw.
• The Wanderers have never lost to Adelaide United at home, outscoring them 10-3 in clashes at Pirtek Stadium.
• Adelaide United have kept a clean sheet in four of their last seven matches away from home, including each of the last two and a 0-0 draw at Western Sydney in Round 13.
• The Reds have won their last five matches away from home and a sixth straight win would set a new club record for most consecutive wins on the road.
ROUTE TO GOAL
Western Sydney midfielder Andreu is the only player to have scored in this fixture this season, having netted at either end in the 1-1 draw back in Round 2.
Tony Popovic’s side have all been chipping in on the scoresheet of late, with five different players responsible for the side’s last six goals – and that group doesn’t include joint top scorers Mark Bridge and Mitch Nichols.
Bridge led the line in last week’s tight win in Newcastle after being sidelined with injury and will be eager to get his season tally into double figures in front of the home fans.
Adelaide have also been scoring as a collective this season with no player scoring more than six goals.
City’s tactics last weekend may have given sides a blueprint for how to beat the Reds, however the defensive lapse that led to Nick Fitzgerald’s winner will no doubt have been addressed.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Craig Goodwin and Dylan McGowan. The pair are set to make their 50th A-League appearance for Adelaide United this weekend.
Western Sydney: LDWLW
Adelaide United: WWWWL
Prediction: Wanderers 1 Adelaide 1