Wanderers seek attacking thrust against Victory

Western Sydney Wanderers will be looking for some added polish in the forward third as they aim to take a big step towards the Hyundai A-League Premiership against Melbourne Victory on Good Friday.

The Friday night blockbuster at AAMI Park could be a symbolic changing of the guard, with defending Premiers Plate winners Victory hosting the favourites to replace them in Western Sydney.

Wanderers could strike a blow against the rest of the A-League’s top four with a win in Melbourne, as they would move four points clear to begin Round 25.

But both Romeo Castelen and Scott Neville know the visitors will need to improve up front if they’re to knock off the Big V.

Last week, Western Sydney dominated Adelaide United with 16 shots to three but were unable to break down the Reds in a 0-0 draw.

“I think overall it was a very good performance from us at home,” Castelen told reporters on Tuesday.

“We dominated the game and we put them [Adelaide] – I think in the second half they stayed almost in their own half.

“It was a great game from the whole team, good defence; we only missed a little bit of luck with the finishing.”

Wanderers' Romeo Castelen and Dimas rue a missed chance against the Reds.

Right-back Neville agreed with his team-mate but warned the Wanderers they must take advantage of such dominance in the future if they’re to lift either the Premiers Plate or the A-League’s championship trophy this season.

The Wanderers lead the A-League by a point from Melbourne City and Brisbane Roar with three rounds remaining, while Adelaide sit just two points off top spot.

“The last two weeks have been very positive defensively,” Neville said, referring to Western Sydney’s consecutive clean sheets.

“We’ve been very resilient and disciplined in defence and now we’ve just got to convert our chances and really punish teams.”


The last time the Wanderers visited Victory, Tony Popovic’s men had over 60 per cent possession at Etihad Stadium and outshot their hosts 15-5 but had to settle for a 1-1 result.

For Neville, it was one of the best away performances he’s had against the Big V but he was frustrated Western Sydney needed a late goal from Brendon Santalab just to secure a point.

“To go there and dominate them in that fashion was huge and hopefully we can do the same this week but score a few more goals,” the defender said.