Both these sides played - and lost - in China midweek but attention now turns to domestic matters when last season's A-League grand finalists Western Sydney Wanderers and Adelaide United meet on Saturday at Spotless.
Saturday, 4 March 2017
Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Adelaide United
Spotless Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park
Kick-Off: 7:50PM (Local) (7:50PM (AEDT))
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Assistant Referee 1: Nathan MacDonald
Assistant Referee 2: Greg Taylor
Fourth Official: Luke Withell
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.45pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: ABC Adelaide, ABC Radio SA, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live, Hawkesbury Radio
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #WSWvADL
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au
Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 1.Jerrad TYSON (gk), 3.Jack CLISBY, 5.Brendan HAMILL, 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 7.Steven LUSTICA, 8.DIMAS (c), 10.Nicolás MARTÍNEZ, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 13.Bruno PIÑATARES, 14.Jumpei KUSUKAMI, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 18.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 22.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 24.Terry ANTONIS, 29.Ryan GRIFFITHS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 3.Jack CLISBY (promoted), 7.Steven LUSTICA (promoted), 15.Kearyn BACCUS (returns from suspension)
Outs: 2.Shannon COLE (omitted), 28.Stefan ZINNI (omitted)
Unavailable: Jacob MELLING (back – indefinite)
Adelaide United squad: 2.Michael MARRONE, 4.Dylan McGOWAN, 5.Taylor REGAN, 7.Jae-sung KIM, 9.Baba DIAWARA, 11.Sergio CIRIO, 12.Mark OCHIENG, 14.George MELLS, 15.Ben WARLAND, 16.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 17.Nikola MILEUSNIC, 18.Riley McGREE, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.John HALL (gk), 21.Tarek ELRICH, 24.Jordan O'DOHERTY, 30.Daniel MARGUSH (gk), 92.Eli BABALJ
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 5.Taylor Regan (promoted), 17.Nikola MILEUSNIC (promoted), 24.Jordan O'DOHERTY (promoted), 92.Eli BABALJ (promoted)
Outs: 10.Marcelo CARRUSCA (not selected), 13.Marc MARINO (not selected)
Unavailable: 1.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk) (shoulder – indefinite), 3.Iacopo LA ROCCA (hip – 4 weeks), 8.Isaìas (knee – indefinite), 22.Ryan KITTO (hamstring – 3 weeks), 23.Jordan ELSEY (knee – season)
It’s hard to believe these two sides were grand finalists just last season.
Things have gone very differently for both in the 2016/17 Season but it’s still not too late to salvage something from largely poor campaigns.
Of course, victory is paramount for the Reds, who head into this clash in last spot and 10 points behind the sixth-placed Wanderers.
If the final rites haven’t already been administered on their finals hopes then it’s certainly the last chance for Gui Amor’s troops.
Their 2-1 loss to Melbourne Victory last weekend really summed up their campaign. It was a decent performance where they could have got a result, but ultimately came away with noting.
For the Wanderers, it’s been a case of one step forward, two steps back over the last month.
Just when it seemed they had turned the corner with their win in the Sydney Derby, they backed it up with a meek 2-0 loss to Perth last weekend.
In fact, Tony Popovic’s side has alternated between winning and losing for the last six weeks. What will they dish up at Spotless, a venue they still haven’t won at this season?
Both sides are backing up from long trips to China in midweek as well, with the Wanderers crushed 5-1 by Shanghai SIPG on Tuesday, while the Reds were unfortunate to lose 2-1 at Jiangsu Suning 24 hours later.
ROUTE TO GOAL
This promises to be a tight affair with the Wanderers and Reds the Hyundai A-League’s lowest scorers so far this season.
The Wanderers have managed just 24 in 21 games (the same as Central Coast), while the Reds have found the net a paltry 17 times.
And there have only been nine goals in the last five head-to-head clashes between these two clubs.
In saying that, when they have been good this season, some of their football has been thrilling to watch. But the final pass in the front third has too often let them down.
Wanderers striker Brendon Santalab scored a brace off the bench when these sides met back in Round 2 and having been spared the long trip to China, he’ll be raring to lead the line for the home side.
After scoring a consolation goal for the Reds in China on Wednesday night, Eli Babalj could be pushing for a start with Amor sure to make a few changes to his attack with 24 hours less recovery time for his side.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
The Wanderers. After the high of their derby win it’s been a forgettable week for Western Sydney having lost tamely in Perth last week and a midweek 5-1 ACL thrashing in Shanghai.