Wanderer wary of ACL toll on A-League rivals

Wanderers defender Scott Jamieson believes upcoming Asian Champions League campaigns for Melbourne Victory, Sydney FC and possibly Adelaide United will affect those clubs’ Hyundai A-League title hopes.

Season 11 is arguably the tightest A-League campaign ever, with the top five clubs separated by just three points.

The Wanderers currently lead the way on 30 points, two ahead of Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar, with Sydney FC and Victory on 27, while Adelaide rounds out the top six on 23.

It sets up an enthralling end to the season with any of those clubs genuine title contenders.

Hyundai A-League team of the week: Round 16

But Jamieson feels Victory and the Sky Blues (and the Reds if they win their play-off next month) will find it tough to fight on both fronts come the business end of the A-League season.

“They’re going to be playing on a Saturday, then a Wednesday, then a Saturday and it can take its toll,” said Jamieson on Sky Sports Radio’s Big Sports Breakfast on Wednesday morning.

“In that sense it is a bit of a positive [for the Wanderers]. We need to try and maximise that because the travel does take its toll.

Wanderers players celebrate scoring their second goal against the Jets in Round 12.

Jamieson knows how hard juggling the two competitions can be, having done it during his time at Adelaide and Sydney FC in the past.

He believes it will certainly work in the favour of the Wanderers, as well as City and third-placed Roar.

“Some players might find themselves thinking about an Asian Champions League game rather than the A-League game,” the left-back said.

“Every point really will get taken to the wire now. Squads will be tested and unfortunately the A-League doesn’t carry massive squads.

Wanderers players celebrate Mark Bridge's first-half strike against the Mariners.

“If you’re a Victory player or a Sydney player or an Adelaide player, you hope injuries don’t come about because the squads aren’t big enough to carry two campaigns.”

The Wanderers face a massive top-of-the-table clash against City at Pirtek Stadium on Friday night, with skipper Nikolai Topor-Stanley set to return from suspension.

The two sides have already met twice this season, with one win apiece.