Western Sydney Wanderers and Brisbane Roar will face off in a Grand Final replay tonight at Pirtek Stadium. Just seven months after meeting in the decider at Suncorp Stadium it is amazing to now find the clubs at the foot of the A-League ladder with just one win between them.
Tonight’s game is the final game in a run of four straight at home for the Wanderers. After three successive draws they will be disappointed if the return on those four games is four points or less.
Considering their success since their foundation in 2012 it is incredible that the Wanderers are without a win after seven games. Playing in front of their passionate home fans has been a strength, but a fourth game at Pirtek Stadium without a win could take some of the fear factor away.
The first half of the Sydney Derby showed how well the Wanderers can play when their attackers get their combinations working. However, their failure to convert chances cost them as a sharp Sydney FC breakaway forced them to share the points.
There were positive signs from star recruit Nikita Rukavytsya, who demonstrated that he is beginning to have an impact on his team. The Wanderers have had to rethink their attacking strategy following the departures of Shinji Ono and Youssef Hersi.
Wanderers fans will at least have the opportunity to toast more glory in Asia. Earlier this week they were named the AFC Club of the Year, while Tony Popovic also received the Coach of the Year award.
The Roar have been dealt a major blow with Thomas Broich undergoing ankle surgery and ruled out for six weeks. Goal scoring has been an issue for them so far, and the loss of their key playmaker will heap further pressure on others to make a step up.
Wednesday 3rd December, Pirtek Stadium Parramatta
Western Sydney Wanderers v Brisbane Roar
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