Bitter Rivals Clash Again

Expect things to get heated again on Wednesday. Image courtesy of fourfourtwo.com.au

Western Sydney Wanderers A-League Logo


Western Sydney v Guangzhou


Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta


Wednesday 4 March –  6:30pm (AEST)

Form:


W

W


Despite their struggles domestically, Western Sydney Wanderers continue to thrive on the big stage. Last year’s champions of Asia started where they left off in their Group H opener against Kashima Antlers, scoring twice in the final seven minutes to record a 3-1 victory. With two of the tournament’s heavyweights in their group, kicking off their ACL campaign with three points couldn’t have been more important. Tony Popovic’s men had to work hard for that victory, and another tough match is ahead of them as tournament favourites Guangzhou Evergrande make the trip to Pirtek Stadium. The Wanderers had the stuffing knocked out of them on the weekend after going down 4-3 in an enthralling Sydney Derby, however a solid debut from controversial striker Kerem Bulut will give them some much needed optimism.

When the Chinese giants visited Pirtek Stadium in the first leg of their quarter-final tie last year, they lost their heads along with the ball game. Two red cards to Zhang Linpeng and Gao Lin followed Tomi Juric’s second-half strike, causing then manager Marcelo Luppi to lose his cool and evade the pitch. There’s no doubt revenge will be the minds on Guangzhou Evergrande, and after an opening day win over FC Seoul, they’ll fancy their chances. Brazilian striker Ricardo Goulart, brother of former Sydney FC marqee signing Juninho, steered them to a 1-0 win on that occasion, and he’s the man Western Sydney's defence must contain.

The visitors are strong favourites to take all three points in this clash, but Western Sydney will fancy their chances. No love was lost last time these two sides met, and expect another fiery encounter come Wednesday.

 

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