5 key ins for Hyundai A-League Round 8
With just three points separating fourth-placed Wanderers and bottom-placed Phoenix, spots in the top six are well and truly up for grabs.
Here’s five crucial inclusions set to boost their respective sides in Round 8.
ROSS MCCORMACK (CITY)
The City striker will be a welcome return for Warren Joyce’s side having netted four goals in his first six games in the A-League.
City lacked a focal point up top in last week’s loss to Roar and McCormack looms as the man to fill the void.
JOSH RISDON (WSW)
The energetic fullback returns to the side after helping the Caltex Socceroos down Honduras to book a spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
His energy, work rate and ability to get forward will be a welcome asset for Josep Gombau’s side against a Reds outfit coming off a mid-week loss in the FFA Cup Final.
ANDREW DURANTE (PHOENIX)
The veteran defender travelled to Lima for NZ’s ultimately unsuccessful World Cup play-off against Peru but will be a massive boost for the Phoenix.
After conceding 13 goals in six matches this season, Durante’s leadership and composure at the back is sure to benefit the Nix as they play host to Central Coast.
KOSTA BARBAROUSES (VICTORY)
Another to return from All Whites duty, Barbarouses will add another dimension to a Victory side high on confidence after last week’s drought-breaking win against Glory.
With Mitch Austin suffering a long-term knee-injury, Barbarouses will need to step up and support the likes of Besart Berisha and Leroy George.
ALAN BARO (MARINERS)
Central Coast will welcome the return of inspirational skipper Alan Baro, with the Spaniard back on deck following a one-week suspension.
Baro was one of his side’s best in their stunning upset over Sydney FC a fortnight ago and will again have his hands full against red-hot Phoenix attackers Roy Krishna and Andrija Kaluderovic.