Western United will look to extend a club-record unbeaten run and maintain top spot on the Isuzu UTE A-League Men table when it faces Sydney FC at AAMI Park on Wednesday.
Western United vs Sydney FC
Wednesday, 23 February
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Broadcast: The match will broadcast live on Paramount+
Western United: WDWDW
Sydney FC: DWWDD
Both sides come into this match on a good run of form with no losses across the last five fixtures for either team.
United’s run of five unbeaten is a club record and follows a previous club record of four wins in a row earlier in the campaign.
Sydney FC have only lost once in their last nine matches but have drawn four of those games, contributing to a joint-high six ties for the season.
After going winless through the first three games, Sydney have bounced back to sit in fourth on the table, while United continues its run at the top of the league.
John Aloisi and his staff and players won’t need to dig too deep into the analysis archives when preparing for this match as it comes just 11 days after the previous meeting at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
It was a 1-1 draw in the pouring Sydney rain on that occasion with Max Burgess cancelling out Steven Lustica’s opener.
Early meetings between the two produced even results with a win each in the first two clashes, but Sydney have since seized control in the head-to-head battle with two wins before that draw two weeks ago.
Aloisi is expected to make changes to the side with a less than 72-hour turnaround from Sunday’s win against Western Sydney Wanderers.
That means the likes of Nikolai Topor-Stanley, Nicolas Milanovic and Dylan Wenzel-Halls will be among those pushing for a spot in the starting XI.
United’s head coach also confirmed that Connor Pain will miss a second match in a row as he recovers from a foot injury.
What John Aloisi is saying
On the mood in the camp and continuing the strong form
“I think the boys are starting to believe. We’re always improving, we’re competing each game with whoever is put in front of us and we’re building.
“We’re not talking about where we are on the table or where we want to be. Every club wants to be there at the end of the season and competing for silverware – we’re no different. We’re just focused on improving each game, but you see the lift in the players and the confidence growing in the playing group.”
On the short time frame between matches
“We’ll make sure we check which players are ready to go, which players do back up well. We’ve got some players we believe will have no issues with it, and others that might have an issue.
“We just have to see – we’ll probably make our final decision tomorrow. We’re used to it because we’ve had it in the past, so we’ll be better for it this time around as well.”