Western United will hope to continue its strong record against Western Sydney Wanderers when it travels to Commbank Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Isuzu UTE A-League Men Round 15
Western Sydney Wanderers vs Western United
Sunday, 5 February
CommBank Stadium, Parramatta
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live on 10Bold and on Paramount+
John Aloisi will welcome Aleksandar Prijovic back into contention for this clash after the Serbian missed the last two matches with a minor shoulder issue.
The No.99 is available once again and will compete with Noah Botic for a spot in the starting line-up with the youngster having impressed in two straight starts in Prijovic’s absence.
Lachie Wales has found the net twice in the last three matches and will be out to do the same, while Adisu Bayew will hope to feature again after a productive first appearance of the season last week.
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, 21. Sebastian PASQUALI, 23. Alessandro DIAMANTI (c), 26. Nicolas MILANOVIC, 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 played out an entertaining 2-2 draw against Macarthur FC last week, with all four goals coming in the second half.
Wales gave United the lead before Macarthur fought back, but a late Nicolas Milanovic equaliser ensured both sides left with a point.
United has a strong head-to-head record against the Wanderers with five wins in the eight previous meetings between the two sides.
Three of those wins have come in of the last three games, though each match has been competitive with United winning by just a one-goal margin.
Key Matchup: Aleksandar Prijovic vs Marcelo
Prijovic’s aforementioned purple patch against Western Sydney makes him and obvious threat in this one, and the Wanderers will need all of their defensive resolve to stop United’s No.99 from scoring again.
Marcelo has been one of the league’s leading centre backs this season for Western Sydney, arriving with all the class of someone who played more than 350 games in European top divisions.
But Prijovic will give Marcelo a significant test and the Brazilian will have to be at his very best to stop United’s talisman from terrorising the Wanderers once again.
Player to Watch: Josh Risdon
Filling in at left-back in the absence of Ben Garuccio, Josh Risdon has only managed to increase his performance levels and will be an asset to Aloisi’s side once more.
Risdon has linked up superbly with Connor Pain in recent weeks and added a different angle to United’s attacks with his ability to cut inside from the left and play closer to the midfield.
His quality in possession and willingness to get forward means he is level at the top of the league with four assists, while his defensive prowess remains as strong as ever, making him a crucial player heading into this clash.
Words from John Aloisi
On what he has made of Western Sydney this season
“They’ve been very good. They’ve got some good signings – Marcelo has been great for them, Cleur as well plus Thomas as well.
“They’ve made some really good signings, so they’ve got a very good squad. They want to win it, and they’ve signed players to go and win it. We’re no different, we want to win so it should make for a very good game on Sunday.”
On whether not he will look to bring anyone in before the transfer window closes
“We could, just at the moment we’re not sure if there’s going to be anyone available. If not, we’re comfortable with what we’ve got at the moment.
“The young players have really shown they’ve come up another level this season – Milanovic scored again, Botic has really shown he’s improved as a player, Rhys Bozinovski. All these young players keep on improving and that’s what we want, that helps the strength of our squad.”