Can the Wanderers make it two straight wins to start the season? They began life without Tony Popovic in great style last week with a 2-1 win over Perth at Spotless Stadium and stay local for the visit by the Mariners this week. While they were on a high, things couldn’t have been any worse for Central Coast who suffered a 5-1 defeat in the F3 Derby with their former hitman Roy O’Donovan getting a hat-trick against them.
3 KEY POINTS
- WESTERN SYDNEY’s Oriol Riera has scored in all four of his matches with the Wanderers (5 goals) including FFA Cup games
- Central Coast conceded five goals last week – easily the most of any side in Round 1
- CENTRAL COAST could welcome back Andrew Hoole and Storm Roux who both missed last week’s derby through injury
Recent clashes suggest it’s the Wanderers’ game to lose
- Western Sydney has won four of their past six against Central Coast (with one draw)
- Central Coast did win their previous encounter 2-0 giving the ‘away’ team in this fixture four wins in the past six
- Brendon Santalab was on a five-game scoring streak against the Mariners prior to facing them last time out
Western Sydney Wanderers
- The combination between Wanderers imports Riera, Alvaro Cejudo and Jumpei Kusukami was sublime at times and made Perth’s defence look ordinary at times. Their blistering start to the game helped set up an early 2-nil lead and that could spell trouble for the Mariners who despite scoring first against Newcastle, went into the break 3-1 down. You would think Paul Okon and his troops will provide some bounce back here but they are going to find it tough against a side they have a poor record against.
WANDERERS / WANDERERS
- The pace could be a cracker early on and we think the Wanderers will jump out of the blocks and lead early
- The Spaniard has five goals in four games for his new club including the first goal in last week’s win against Perth
TOTAL GOALS OVER OR UNDER
- Goalkeepers are usually busy when these two sides meet with the Over 2.5 saluting four times in the past six outings