Western Sydney Wanderers return to Wanderland for the first time in the 2013/14 A-League season on Sunday afternoon when they face Wellington Phoenix. The Wanderers opened their season last weekend with a hard fought draw against Central Coast Mariners, Tomi Juric scoring the equalising goal on debut five minutes from full time.
As well as Western Sydney performed in their inaugural season, a clinical goal scorer was arguably all that was missing in their squad. If they have filled that gap with the acquisition of Juric then this year they could be unstoppable.
It is hard to judge where the Phoenix are at based on last weekend’s opening round loss at home to Brisbane. They will obviously be disappointed to have lost late in a game that they had led, but the Phoenix were missing half a team of players away on international duty with New Zealand. All of those players have returned from the All Whites’ games injury free and come straight back into the side this week.
This season poses some very different challenges for the Wanderers as there is now a lot of expectation around the club. Last year they were perhaps underestimated by the rest of the league, at least to begin with. This time around they are a known quantity and teams will be raising their game against them.
As always the RBB has shown their tremendous support for their club, with all memberships sold out and active fan areas also at capacity. This match is almost certain to sell out prior to kick off, and it looks like that will be the case for most matches this year. Expect the Wanderers to notch their first win of the season on Sunday in front of the A-Leagues most passionate support.
Sunday 20th October, Pirtek Stadium Parramatta 17:00
Western Sydney Wanderers v Wellington Phoenix