Shinji Ono scored both goals for the Wanderers against Victory. Image courtesy of news.com.au
How things have changed since these teams played out a scoreless draw in round 1. Back then, the Wanderers were expected to be cannon fodder for the best teams in the competition, but Tony Popovic’s side has proved to be anything but on their climb to third place on the ladder after 14 games.
Shinji Ono was the difference against Melbourne Victory on New Year’s Day producing two classy strikes in the 2-1 win. Western Sydney is making moves to secure the Japanese star for longer than his current one-year deal, and on his recent form it would be a massive coup if they could keep him at Parramatta Stadium. The Wanderers are unbeaten in five games and they’ve taken full points in four of those contests.
Central Coast confirmed this week Reading has made an offer for young star Tom Rogic, although there are a few hurdles to jump through prior to him joining fellow Australian Adam Federici at the English Premier League club. Regardless, Rogic would have missed this match anyway through suspension. Two players coming back this week from an enforced stint on the sidelines are John Hutchinson and the A-League’s equal-leading scorer Daniel McBreen. There is also a chance Patrick Zwaanswijk could return from a groin injury to stiffen up the Mariners’ already resolute defence.
Both of these teams have been solid at the back all season, which explains why they’re sitting first and third on the table. Central Coast has conceded just 10 goals this campaign and the Wanderers only 11. Ten of Western Sydney’s 14 fixtures have finished with under 2.5 goals , although their last two victories at home have finished with over 2.5 .
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