Match preview: Melbourne City v Western Sydney Wanderers
Melbourne City may have slipped up against Perth Glory on Saturday night, throwing away the chance to keep pace with the pack at the summit, but it pales in comparison to the Western Sydney Wanderers who sit 13 points outside of a top-six place.
The Wanderers were unfortunate not to take anything away from their 2-1 loss to Adelaide United on Friday night, with Markus Babbel and his men feeling they didn’t get the rub of the green.
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Regardless, with 13 games remaining for the Wanderers, the Red and Black will have to muster up some points quickly before the gulf from the rest of the pack becomes insurmountable.
City, for all their ostensible inconsistency, sit comfortably in fourth spot having built a 12-point buffer from seventh-placed Newcastle Jets.
After becoming the Central Coast Mariners’ first scalp of the Hyundai A-League 2018/19 Season, City restored some pride by holding ladder leaders Perth Glory to a 0-0 draw at AAMI Park.
Joyce’s policy of rotating players up the front appears to be paying dividends, with Lachie Wales playing with some serious confidence and Ritchie De Laet showcasing his class in recent weeks.
Coincidentally, it was those two men who helped City to a 2-0 win over Western Sydney on New Year’s Day.
Recent match-ups aside, Tuesday night’s clash between City and the Wanderers puts both sides at their respective crossroads: Can Joyce’s men prove they have what it takes to keep up with the rest, or will Babbel’s boys kickstart their renaissance towards the top six?
Key Opta stats
- Melbourne City are undefeated in their last four Hyundai A-League games against Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park (W3, D1), conceding just one second-half goal in that period.
- Western Sydney Wanderers have lost their last five Hyundai A-League games on the bounce heading into this fixture; a sixth consecutive loss would set the outright club record for most losses in a row.
- City have kept six clean sheets so far this campaign, two more than any other team in the competition and four more than the Wanderers.
Ins and outs
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI, 2.Ritchie De LAET, 3.Scott JAMIESON (c), 4.Harrison DELBRIDGE, 5.Bart SCHENKEVELD, 6.Osama MALIK, 7.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 8.Riley MCGREE, 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 13.Nathaniel ATKINSON, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 18.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 19.Lachlan WALES, 21.Ramy NAJJARINE, 25.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 22.Curtis GOOD, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Florin BERENGUER-BOHRER **two to be omitted**
Ins: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (returns from injury), 6.Osama MALIK (returns from injury), 10.Dario VIDOSIC (returns from injury)
Outs:42.James DELIANOV (omitted)
Western Sydney Wanderers FC: 5.Brendan HAMILL, 7.Nick FITZGERALD, 8.Jordan O’DOHERTY, 11.Bruce KAMAU, 13.Tass MOURDOUKOUTAS, 14.Mathieu CORDIER, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 17.Keanu BACCUS, 18.Marc TOKICH, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC, 21.Tarek ELRICH, 22.Rashid MAHAZI, 24.Raul LLORENTE, 27.Kwame YEBOAH, 28.Roly BONEVACIA, 33.Tate RUSSELL, 40.Nicholas SUMAN, 49.Abraham MAJOK **two to be omitted**
Ins: 8.Jordan O’DOHERTY (returns from injury), 17.Keanu BACCUS (returns from suspension), 18.Marc TOKICH (promoted).
Outs: 42.Andrea AGAMEMNONOS (not selected)
Unavailable: 4.Josh RISDON (international duty), 9.Oriol RIERA (injury – one week), 10.Alex BAUMJOHANN (injury – three weeks), 19.Mark BRIDGE (injury – two weeks).
How to watch
Tune in to FOX SPORTS 505 from 7:50pm AEDT or watch through the MyFootball Live App.
CLICK HERE to secure your ticket at AAMI Park as Melbourne City and the Wanderers look to break their winless streaks.