Australia Day A-League action this year sees Western Sydney Wanderers host Perth Glory at Pirtek Stadium. It is nearly a full year since the two sides last met in the A-League, and a lot has happened to both clubs in those 12 months.
The Wanderers find themselves in a situation that they have not really been in before now. They have lost three of their last four games, and while they lost a few games at the beginning of their inaugural season, at that time there was no expectation of success from a new club. Now as defending minor premiers there is that added pressure and scrutiny, and the Wanderers will hope to silence their critics with a return to winning ways.
Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Matthew Spiranovic look to have shaken off injuries and should take their place at the heart of the Wanderers defence. However, Jerome Polenz and Mateo Poljak will not be available, and Tomi Juric is also suspended.
Ironically coach Tony Popovic is now being questioned about his rotation policy at a time when most of his changes are enforced. It is a policy that he has employed from the very beginning with the Wanderers, and there didn’t seem to be many questions asked of it when they were winning.
Perth’s recent good form has come on the back of a run of clean sheets. William Gallas and Shane Smeltz came off the bench in their last game as they make returns from injuries, and could well be handed starts at Pirtek Stadium.
Sunday 26th January, Pirtek Stadium Parramatta 19:00
Western Sydney Wanderers v Perth Glory