Western United will go in search of back to back wins in the Isuzu UTE A-League Men when it takes on Macarthur FC on Saturday evening.
Isuzu UTE A-League Men Round 14
Macarthur FC vs Western United
Saturday, 28 January
Kick-off: 5:00pm AEDT
Campbelltown Stadium, Campbelltown
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast on Paramount+
John Aloisi has named an unchanged extended 20-man squad for this meeting, United’s second against Macarthur this season.
Fresh from signing a new three-year contract with the Club, Connor Pain is set to feature again and will hope to find the net against the Bulls as he did last season.
Competition for places in the starting XI is rife with last week’s match-winner Alessandro Diamanti fighting against the likes of Lachie Wales, James Troisi and Nicolas Milanovic in attacking positions.
Western United squad: 1. Jamie YOUNG (gk), 4. Leo LACROIX, 5. Dylan PIERIAS, 6. Tomoki IMAI, 7. Tongo DOUMBIA, 8. Lachie WALES, 9. Dylan WENZEL-HALLS, 11. Connor PAIN, 14. James TROISI, 19. Josh RISDON, 23. Alessandro DIAMANTI (c), 26. Nicolas MILANOVIC, 31. Adisu BAYEW, 33. Ben COLLINS, 37. Ryan SCOTT (gk) 38. Noah BOTIC, 42. Rhys BOZINOVSKI, 44. Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 88. Neil KILKENNY, 99. Aleksandar PRIJOVIC
Last time out
Western United scored an important win last week, with Diamanti’s late screamer securing a 1-0 win over Sydney FC in Hobart.
The Italian maestro’s effort from just in front of the halfway line was the highlight of the weekend and put United within touching distance of the top six.
The head-to-head record between these two sides is completely even with two wins each and two draws in the six meetings to date.
United went unbeaten against the Bulls last season with a 2-2 draw away from home before a 2-0 win in Launceston.
The sides played out an entertaining 1-1 draw earlier this season and should be in store for another engrossing encounter.
Key Matchup: Jamie Young vs Filip Kurto
This clash will see the league’s two most active goalkeepers go to battle as Jamie Young looks to out-perform Macarthur’s Filip Kurto.
Young is ranked second for total saves this season with 54, second only to Kurto’s 55, continuing his strong form since joining Western United last season.
Kurto has kept five clean sheets this season, but Macarthur have only won once when they’ve conceded in a game in this campaign, a 3-2 win over Central Coast Mariners in November.
United has a very similar record in that respect, so the performances of both goalkeeper’s and the defences in front of them could be the deciding factor in this match.
Player to Watch: Connor Pain
With the added boost of fresh terms and a strengthened commitment to the Green and Black, Pain will be on to watch at Campbelltown Stadium this weekend.
Pain has enjoyed playing Macarthur in the past with a goal and an assist in previous meetings, his strike in Launceston last year one of the goals of the season as he almost ripped the net with a searing volley.
With a goal and two assists so far in this campaign, Pain will be eager to add to his tally and set himself up for a strong second half of the season.