WSW v NEW
The Wanderers will face off against Newcastle in a must win match on Sunday 22 January at Campbelltown Stadium – kickoff at 5pm (and just a reminder that this is a Community Round Match, meaning that your membership will not grant you access and you will need to purchase tickets for the match). The game will be crucial to both teams as they make their claim to qualify for the finals with a top 6 finish; making it a true ‘6 pointer’.
After a fairly tough few rounds against opposition much further up the ladder, the Wanderers have a chance to make a statement against the Jets; who have had patchy form throughout the season and sit just 2 points clear of the Wanderers, in 7th place. A big win would place the Wanderers above the Jets and equal with both Wellington and Perth on 18 points, who have tough matches this week against Brisbane and Melbourne respectively. Therefore a win on Sunday could potentially move the Wanderers up 3 places on the ladder (depending on other results and goals difference) and would very much re-ignite the Wanderers’ chances of collecting a trophy this season.
The biggest inclusion in this week’s squad is the return of Brendon Santalab from his 3 game suspension. The Wanderers’ striker will add much needed experience up front and hopefully some clinical finishing, which has been desperately lacking during his absence – with only 1 goal scored in those 3 games.
Other changes include:
Ins: 7.Steven LUSTICA (promoted), 11.Brendon SANTALAB (returns from suspension), 24.Terry ANTONIS (promoted)
Outs: 49.Abraham MAJOK (omitted)
Unavailable: 17.Aritz BORDA (suspended – 2 matches)
With two players to be omitted from the final squad, our predicted likely line-up would be:
J.Kusukami M.Nichols N.Martinez
Dimas.D (C) B.Pinatares
J.Clisby R.Cornthwaite J.Aspro S.Neville
Bench: L.Scott; T.Antonis; K.Baccus; B.Hamill; J.Tyson
Newcastle have named their preliminary squad, with the most notable exclusion being Andrew Hoole who is suspended for 1 week, as:
- Daniel MULLEN, 3. Jason HOFFMAN, 4. Nigel BOOGAARD (C), 6. Steven UGARKOVIC, 8. Mateo POLJAK, 9. Aleksandr KOKKO, 10. Wayne BROWN, 11. Labinot HALITI, 15. Andrew NABBOUT, 16. Nicholas COWBURN, 18. MA Leilei, 19. Morten NORDSTRAND, 20. Jack DUNCAN (Gk), 22. Lachlan JACKSON, 23. Devante CLUT, 24. Kristian BRYMORA, 28. John KOUTROUMBIS, 50. Tomislav ARCABA (Gk) **two to be omitted**
What’s expected and things to look out for
We can expect to Wanderers to again pursue a high possession based and aggressive game-plan and to dictate terms to the Jets. It is likely that the Wanderers will succeed in maintaining the ‘lion’s share’ of possession, possibly as high as 65-75%. The real challenge for the Wanderers will be making use of that possession to not only create chances but to finish them as well. If the Wanderers can do this, the result could be beyond doubt by half-time.
However, the Jets will be looking to hurt the Wanderers on the counter and press-high to put them off their game and cause cheap turn overs in promising positions, as they did in the 2nd half of the round 3 clash at Spotless Stadium – resulting in a 2-2 draw after the Wanderers led 2-0. The key difference when they meet this weekend from their last encounter will be that the shaky Wanderers defence that let the game go has mostly been corrected, particularly with Janjetovic between the sticks instead of Redmayne. Having said that, the Wanderers will have to be careful of Boogaard, Nordstrand and Nabbout who have all been dangerous for the Jets.
Other players to watch are former Wanderers Mullen, Poljak and Haliti who have all been included in the preliminary squad for Newcastle.
So from all of that, I think we can expect a Wanderers team to come out on the front foot and look to dominate. The Jets will look to sit back and absorb the pressure and hope to stay in the game long enough to hit the Wanderers on the counter with long balls or by pouncing on mistakes. Ultimately, I think it will come down to the Wanderers being able to capitalise on their chances as well as Janjetovic again keeping a clean sheet (and may well be the hero of the day).
Score: Wanderers to win 4-0
Man of the Match: Vedran Janjetovic or Nico Martinez
WSW Women v Canberra
Also playing at Campbelltown on Sunday, the Wanderers Women take on Canberra United with kickoff at 2pm.
Our girls will be looking to bounce back from a big 10-2 loss (not a typo) against Adelaide last week, which was a close contest up until the last 20 minutes. It will be a tough match against 2nd place Canberra but with the home ground behind them and a potential leap frog of 2 teams on offer, the Wanderers have a good shot at a big upset. It’s also important to note that this is the second last round of the W-League season, so it’s all or nothing for the Wanderers as they look to move from 7th to 5th on the ladder (other results aside).
So get to the ground early and watch both matches on offer, it will make for a great Sunday of Football. Women kick off at 2pm, followed by the men at 5pm.
Also a reminder that if you can’t make it, you can tune into Hawkesbury Radio, the official Wanderers radio call, on 89.9FM with coverage starting at 4.30pm (also at wandererslive.com).
See you all there and COYW!