Wanderers Try To Stay Alive

Source: Getty Images/theaustralian.com.au
Aaron Mooy is expected to return for the Wanderers on Friday. Source: Getty Images/theaustralian.com.au
Western Sydney Wanderers  can continue their fairytale first season in the A-League by reaching the grand final with a win over Brisbane Roar  on Friday night. While Tony Popovic’s men had their feet up last weekend, Brisbane was playing sudden death football against Adelaide, where a 2-1  victory was enough to keep their hopes of a third straight premiership alive.

The Wanderers stormed to the top of the table at the end of the regular season after going 12 games unbeaten from January 13, with a string of eleven consecutive victories only broken by a draw against Sydney FC in the penultimate round. They bounced back from that result with a 3-0 win against the Newcastle Jets in their most recent match and did so without key men Shinji Ono , Aaron Mooy and Jerome Polenz although all three are expected to return for the biggest match in the short history of the club.

Last week’s win over Adelaide came at a cost for the Roar, with defender Jack Hingert out for the season after picking up an ankle injury, while skipper Thomas Broich  and midfielder Luke Brattan also had to be substituted after picking up knocks. Broich and Brattan are both expected to line up but Brazilian Henrique will not travel with the squad to Sydney after failing to recover from the ankle injury that ruled him out last Sunday.

Western Sydney has had the wood over Brisbane this season, winning all three fixtures between the clubs in their inaugural campaign. The only meeting at Parramatta resulted in a 1-0  victory for the Wanderers, while the most recent clash, at Suncorp Stadium in round 17, finished 2-1 . Despite beating Adelaide in Adelaide last weekend, Brisbane had a poor record away from home during the regular season with just three wins from sixteen matches.

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