Western United will play its final home match before the FIFA World Cup break, taking on Adelaide United at AAMI Park on Sunday evening.
Western United vs Adelaide United
Sunday, 6 November
Kick-off: 5:00pm AEDT
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live on Paramount+
John Aloisi will be able to welcome back attacking midfielder James Troisi after he missed last weekend’s defeat to Central Coast Mariners.
Troisi had been managing a minor calf strain but has recovered and is back in contention now against his former side.
Another ex-Adelaide United player that will be hoping to make an impact is Jacob Tratt, who could be in line for his first Western United start with Nikolai Topor-Stanley missing out due to suspension.
Western United squad: 1. Jamie YOUNG (gk), 4. Leo LACROIX, 5. Dylan PIERIAS, 8. Lachlan WALES, 9. Dylan WENZEL-HALLS, 10. Steven LUSTICA, 11. Connor PAIN, 14. James TROISI, 17. Ben GARUCCIO, 19. Joshua RISDON, 21. Sebastian PASQUALI, 23. Alessandro DIAMANTI (c) 26. Nicolas MILANOVIC, 27. Jacob TRATT, 31. Adisu BAYEW, 33. Ben COLLINS, 37. Ryan SCOTT (gk), 38. Noah BOTIC, 42. Rhys BOZINOVSKI, 88. Neil KILKENNY
Last time out
United fell to a late fightback from Central Coast Mariners last week, losing 4-2 at Central Coast Stadium on Saturday.
Nicolas Milanovic and Connor Pain had the Green and Black 2-0 up at half-time before the hosts rallied in the second half with United down to 10 men.
Western and Adelaide are not only United in name, but united in results in the six previous meetings with nothing to split the two sides.
The teams have two wins apiece and two draws across past fixtures, with goals, drama and controversy aplenty in three seasons’ worth of matches.
United claimed victory the last time the two sides met at AAMI Park, which incidentally also came in Round 5 of last season.
Key Matchup: Josh Risdon vs Craig Goodwin
Given his early-season form, Josh Risdon continues to feature prominently in a number of key battles each week.
This weekend will be one of Risdon’s toughest tests at right-back has lines up against Adelaide captain and fellow Socceroos hopeful Craig Goodwin.
Risdon remains one of the best defensive full-backs in the league and will look to showcase his prowess against Goodwin, who ranked in the top five for both goals and assists last season.
Player to Watch: Connor Pain
Connor Pain’s trajectory so far this season is following quite a similar path to that of the 2021/22 campaign.
The No.11 scored his first goal of the season in Round 4 in both campaigns and last season, he followed that up with a goal at AAMI Park against Adelaide in Round 5.
Pain’s goal at Central Coast last time was the result of a sublime counter-attack and was just reward for a number of quality performances without anything to show for it in the opening rounds.
The left-winger will be out to continue adding to the scoresheet in the hope that he can inspire the Green and Black to its first win of the season.
Words from John Aloisi
On the defensive shape with Topor-Stanley suspended
“Jacob Tratt came on against the Mariners – he’s played centre-back plenty of times so we’re pretty comfortable that he’ll fit in and do well.
“We saw Leo (Lacroix) in good physical condition against the Mariners. We’re starting to see Leo getting back to his best, and we all know his best is unbelievable. We’re confident we’ve got a good back four.”
On turning around the difficult start to the season
“We won’t panic because we know what we’re doing, we’re on the right track and we’ll go on a very good run very soon.”