Trophy holders meet in early A-League Men blockbuster

Ben Garuccio Western United

Western United will face Macarthur FC in an early Isuzu UTE A-League Men blockbuster on Friday night.

Both sides are the current holders of the two most recent domestic titles in Australia, with Macarthur winning the Australia Cup at the beginning of the month and United remaining the holders of the A-League Men Championship.

John Aloisi’s side will face a tough test in the form of Dwight Yorke’s new-look Bulls, who have started the season with four points from a possible six.

United will be out for a first win of the campaign with plenty of positives to take from the opening two fixtures, but no points on the board as yet.

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As with a number of opposition teams in the A-League Men, the head-to-head record between United and Macarthur is evenly split, with two wins each and a draw in the five meetings between the competition’s two newest sides.

The Green and Black romped to a 4-1 win in the first meeting between the two sides but Macarthur bounced back, securing consecutive 2-1 wins in the 2020/21 season.

The teams played out two sensational matches last season, with late drama and twists and turns throughout both clashes.

United got out to a 2-0 lead at Campbelltown Stadium in February courtesy of goals from Nicolas Milanovic and Aleksandar Prijovic, but a late fightback saw the hosts claw back a point and earn a 2-2 draw.

The subsequent meeting as just as exciting, with the sides coming together under the lights at UTAS Stadium in Launceston in mid-April.

Both sides had significant chances on goal, with Connor Pain finally opening the scoring just before the hour mark before Prijovic rolled the opener into an empty net after Bulls goalkeeper Filip Kurto had rushed up the other end for a corner.

That win proved crucial in setting up United’s Championship run and sets up another tantalising clash against Macarthur, with a competitive on-pitch rivalry brewing between the two teams.

Be there to watch the Champions, with tickets as little as $20 for adults in General Admission seating behind the goal.