Following a massive upset during the week against FC Seoul, the Wanderers look to continue their form on the weekend against a struggling Wellington Phoenix on Sunday night. In the 3 previous encounters this year, (including the FFA cup round of 32 clash), the Wanderers are unbeaten in all, managing 2 wins and 1 draw.
The clash is crucial for the wanderers as it would provide a 5 point buffer on the Nix and if the Jets manage to get a result against Melbourne City they would still be 3 points behind the wanderers. A win against the Nix would cement a spot in the top 6 for the Wanderers and allow some much needed relief for both the players and supporters.
Top scorer Brendan Santalab should be back to nearing full fitness and could get a start but will no doubt get at least 30 minutes from the bench. Thankfully Lachlan Scott has been developing nicely throughout the season and his persistence has been rewarded with a midweek goal against FC Seoul.
Also looking at more game time following the midweek champions league game will be marquee Argentine Nico Martinez, after only having a cameo appearance in Korea.
All the signs are there for the wanderers to shine this week and show the league why they deserve a top 6 spot, however, this all depends on what wanderers turn up on Sunday. If the confidence can grow from the champions league to A league it would then begin to start a run of wins for the Red and Black. The wanderers could then see themselves in good company for both the champions league and the A league finals.
While Wellington haven’t been consistent enough this campaign they still have danger men who can worry the wanderers defence. The man who can turn something out of nothing has to be Kosta Barbarouses, with pace to burn and immense dribbling capabilities, Jack Clisby is going to have one hard night on his hands.
Looking at both sides form, the Nix have 3 losses, 1 draw and 1 win in their past 5 games. While the wanderers have; 2 losses, 1 draw and 2 wins. Another 3-1 win to the wanderers looks on the cards as Wellington has been struggling for consistency, on top of the wanderers mid week victory, the Red and Black look likely to claim their first win at Spotless.
Kick off 7.00pm, Sunday 19 March, Spotless stadium.
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
Wellington Phoenix squad: 1.Glen MOSS (gk), 2.Jacob TRATT, 4.Roly BONEVACIA, 5.Ryan LOWRY, 6.Dylan FOX, 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Alex RODRIGUEZ, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 11.Hamish WATSON, 12.Adam PARKHOUSE, 13.Marco ROSSI, 17.Vince LIA, 19.Tom DOYLE, 20.Lewis ITALIANO (gk), 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 23.Matthew RIDENTON, 99.Shane SMELTZ