The Wanderers can lift the Premier's Plate on Saturday night. Image courtesy of news.com.au/Getty Images
It has been pretty much smooth sailing for the Western Sydney Wanderers throughout their first season in the A-League, but coming up to the business end of the season, coach Tony Popovic has his first injury crisis to deal with. Influential midfielder Aaron Mooy and defender Jerome Polenz will both miss this Saturday night’s derby clash against Sydney FC . Marquee man Shinji Ono isn’t a certain starter, either, due to a hamstring issue, while Youssouf Hersi will miss the match due to suspension.
Their lead over the Mariners is five points in the race for the Premiers' Plate, but after ten straight wins, the last thing Western Sydney would want to do is drop points to a team which they could well face in the finals series. The teams have split their previous meetings this season, with the Wanderers winning the last clash 2-0 .
Frank Farina’s main concern is whether to bring anyone in to his line-up. Lucas Neill is fit again after a three-week layoff with a calf injury, although much-maligned captain Terry McFlynn has been ruled out with a hamstring issue for the second straight week. The Sky Blues have been brilliant at home but their away form has been very poor, and with a finals spot on the line, they’re on the road the last two weeks of the fixture season. Two wins from twelve starts away from home isn’t a good number, but one of those victories was a 1-0 victory over the Wanderers at Parramatta Stadium earlier this season.
Expect goals in this encounter. Along with Western Sydney’s winning streak, Sydney FC has scored in each of its last 11 matches, and they’ve conceded in all bar one away match .
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