Preview: Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Melbourne Victory

​The Wanderers have finally had a win at Wanderland and are off the bottom of the ladder, but now want to claim a big scalp. Do the weary Wanderers have another big performance in them or will Victory’s firepower prove too much? A Friday night cracker looms in Parra.


Friday, 13 March 2015

Pirtek Stadium, Sydney

Kick-Off: 7.40pm (Local) 7.40pm AEDT)


Western Sydney Wanderers 1.Ante COVIC (gk), 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 6.Antony GOLEC, 7.Labinot HALITI, 9.Tomi JURIC, 14.Kerem BULUT, 15.Yianni PERKATIS, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 17.Romeo CASTELEN, 18.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 20.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 23.Jason TRIFIRO, 25.Sam GALLAWAY, 22. Nick WARD, 31. Alusine FOFANAH, 38.Steve KUZMANOVSKI, 32. Daniel ALESSI, 36. Liam YOULLEY

***two to be omitted***

Ins 14.Kerem BULUT (returns from internal suspension), 15.Yianni PERKATIS (promoted), 17.Romeo CASTELEN, 18.Iacopo LA ROCCA (promoted), 31. Alusine FOFANAH (promoted), 32. Daniel ALESSI (promoted), 36. Liam YOULLEY (promoted)

Outs 3.Yusuke TANAKA (not selected), 8.Mateo POLJAK (calf), 10.Yojiro TAKAHAGI (not selected), 12.Nikita RUKAVYTSYA (not selected), 37. Jonathan ASPROPOTIMITIS (not selected)

Unavailable 34.Golgol MEBRAHTU (knee – indefinite), 5.Brendan HAMILL (thigh), 11.Brendon SANTALAB (shoulder), 2.Shannon COLE (collarbone) 19.Mark BRIDGE (injured) 

Melbourne Victory 1. Nathan COE (GK), 4. Nick ANSELL, 5. Mark MILLIGAN (C), 6. Leigh BROXHAM, 7. Gui FINKLER, 8. Besart BERISHA, 10. Archie THOMPSON, 11. Connor PAIN, 14. Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 15. Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 16. Rashid MAHAZI, 17. Matthieu DELPIERRE, 20. Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 21. Carl VALERI, 22. Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 24. Scott GALLOWAY

Ins 22. Jesse MAKAROUNAS (promoted), 24. Scott GALLOWAY(promoted)

Outs 2. Jason GERIA (injured) 9. Kosta BARBAROUSES (injured)

Hashtag #WSWvMVC

Broadcast coverage

TV – Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Live Coverage on SBS HD & SBS One from 7.30pm AEDT

Radio – Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app. 2GLF

Referee Peter O’Leary

Assistant Referee 1 Ryan Gallagher

Assistant Referee 2 James Tesoriero

Fourth Official Chris Young

Harvey Norman Friday Night Football logo


The weary Wanderers will be playing their seventh match in just 20 days and are backing up less than 48 hours after their late 3-2 win over Melbourne City FC. That win – just their second of the season – should help revitalize their tired bodies which they will need against a fresh and hungry Big V. 

Victory know they have a chance to go top of the league – with Perth, Wellington and Sydney FC all playing later in the weekend – if they can get all three points at Pirtek Stadium. They have won both previous clashes between the two sides this season.

The Wanderers have included controversial striker Kerem Bulut in their squad after he missed the City clash on Wednesday night for disciplinary reasons.. He could be one of a host of changes to the home side’s starting line-up given the quick turnaround. 

Expect Romeo Castelen, Iacopo La Rocca, Ante Covic, and Daniel Alessi all to start. Victory have been dealt a blow with both Jason Geria and Kosta Barbarouses out through injury. Scott Galloway and Archie Thompson are likely to start in their place.


-The Wanderers have lost their last three Hyundai A-League matches against Victory, conceding nine goals in the process.

-Melbourne Victory has kept just one clean sheet in eight previous matches against WSW, in their very first meeting in November 2012.

-The Wanderers have scored exactly one goal in their last five Hyundai A-League games against Victory.

-Besart Berisha has netted in four of his last five Hyundai A-League appearances against Wanderers (including finals).


Up until Wednesday night the Wanderers were the Hyundai A-League’s lowest scorers but managed to put three past a helpless City. Supporters will hope that’s the sign they have found their attacking mojo, especially striker Tomi Juric who bagged just his third goal of the season. The off-field situation with Kerem Bulut and the injury to Brendon Santalab will put even more pressure on Juric to stay fit and get the goals. In contrast Victory is still the league’s highest scorers and have attacking options everywhere. A perfect illustration of that is that two of their last three goals have been scored by fullbacks Scott Galloway and Daniel Georgievski.                                                       


Ante Covic. The veteran keeper has been left out for the last two Hyundai A-League games, with youngster Dean Bouzanis preferred. But given this match is less than 48 hours after the clash with City, Covic is likely to come back into the starting side. 

And he will have to be better than he has in his last couple of appearances, conceding three in the ACL loss to Guangzhou Evergrande after looking shaky and letting in four in the Sydney derby. If he is to stay permanent first-choice at the club he must start performing better and would love nothing more than to do that against his former club.


After three losses in a week, the Wanderers finally gave their fans something to cheer about with a late 3-2 win over City. The result has them off the bottom of the ladder for the very first time this season. Victory hasn’t won in their last two matches, following up a loss to Wellington with a draw against Perth Glory, both on home soil. They have dropped to fourth on the table, although they do have a game in hand on their title rivals.


The Wanderers haven’t won any of their last four Hyundai A-League matches contested on a Friday (L3 D1). The last time they won on a Friday was in November 2013, against City.


Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1-3 Melbourne Victory

How will the Wanderers be able to back up less than 48 hours after playing against City. It seems a tough ask for the Asian champions who are sure to be tired, if not physically but mentally. It’s likely to spell disaster against a Victory side with so much attacking potency and plenty to play for. It would come as no surprise if the visitors finish over the top of the Wanderers in the second half and run off with all three points.