The two sides carrying the longest winless streaks in the A-League come together on New Years Day at Pirtek Stadium. Central Coast Mariners have not won a game since the opening round, while Western Sydney Wanderers are still without a win in the current campaign.
The Wanderers’ A-League campaign was always going to be affected by the various distractions thrown their way. With the latter stages of their triumphant Asian Champions League campaign – and the subsequent Club World Cup – playing havoc with their fixtures, their squad has been tested in a way not seen by any other A-League club in the past.
Their poor form has left the Wanderers nine points adrift of the top six at the turn of the year. They must also do without their best defender and attacker in Matthew Spiranovic and Tomi Juric who are already with the Socceroos for the Asian Cup.
The Mariners have not had continental success to brighten their lacklustre season, but they do at least have that solitary win in the current campaign. Goals have been hard to come by this year, so it would have been especially disappointing to score three against Brisbane at the weekend and have to settle for a point.
Games between these sides are always close and hard fought, and tonights game will surely follow the trend. Both are desperate to get that drought breaking win before the Asian Cup break to set the tone for the run-in.
Wednesday 1st January, Pirtek Stadium Parramatta 19:30
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