Western United ALM Team News: Round 12 vs Melbourne Victory

Tomoki Imai Western United

Tomoki Imai will become just the second player to make 100 Isuzu UTE A-League Men appearances for Western United when the side takes on Melbourne Victory on Tuesday night.

The Japanese centre-back will also be the first Asian player to reach the century milestone in the league, testament to his consistency since joining Western United in the Club’s inaugural season.

It is fitting that Imai could lead the team out as captain on the night with Josh Risdon set to miss the clash while serving a one-match ban for accumulation of yellow cards.

Alongside Imai, Ben Garuccio returns to the extended squad and will be aiming to be passed fit to feature in the defence.

The left-back has missed the last two matches with a minor hamstring injury and will be eying a return to face Victory.

John Aloisi has called a number of young defenders to add depth into his squad with Charbel Shamoon and Zach Lisolajski named again.

Shamoon started and looked impressive in United’s win over Newcastle Jets on Friday night, while Lisolajski has now featured in four straight Isuzu UTE A-League matches.

The new addition amongst the names is Khoder Kaddour, a 20-year-old full-back who has starred in the Western United Academy over the last two seasons.

Kaddour could be in line for his professional debut if he makes the matchday squad and is given some minutes on Tuesday night.

Fellow Western United Academy starlet James York is in the extended squad, named for the first time since he made his debut against Western Sydney Wanderers in Hobart.

The 18-year-old scored his first goal for United’s Under 23’s last week and will be hoping to break into the first team again in a marquee fixture against Victory.

Steven Lustica is in the 20-man squad and should be ready to make his return in midfield after falling just short of selection on Friday.

James Donachie is also out with suspension after his red card against the Jets, so Kane Vidmar will be eying another opportunity to feature at the back.

Aloisi told the media that left-back Connor O’Toole remains around two weeks away from returning to the team while Jacob Tratt remains a long-term absentee. Ramy Najjarine is working through a shoulder injury, while Oliver Lavale is stepping up his recovery from a calf complaint.  

Full Western United extended squad

Western United squad: 1. Tom HEWARD-BELLE (gk), 6. Tomoki IMAI, 8. Lachie WALES, 9. Michael RUHS, 10. Steven LUSTICA, 11. Daniel PENHA, 13. Nikita RUKAVYTSYA, 17. Ben GARUCCIO, 21. Sebastian PASQUALI, 22. Kane VIDMAR, 29. Charbel SHAMOON, 32. Angus THURGATE, 33. Matt SUTTON (gk), 34. James YORK, 36. Zach LISOLAJSKI, 37. Luke VICKERY, 38. Noah BOTIC, 39. Matthew GRIMALDI, 42. Rhys BOZINOVSKI, 43. Khoder KADDOUR

Ins: 10. Steven LUSTICA, 17. Ben GARUCCIO (returns from injury), 34. James YORK (promoted), 43. Khoder KADDOUR (promoted)

Outs: 4. James DONACHIE (suspended), 19. Josh RISDON (suspended)

Unavailable: 7. Ramy NAJJARINE (injured), 24. Connor O’TOOLE (injured), 27. Jacob TRATT (injured), 41. Oliver LAVALE (injured), 77. Riku DANZAKI (injured)

Match Details

Isuzu UTE A-League Men Round 12

Melbourne Victory vs Western United

Tuesday, 20 February

Kick-off: 7:00pm AEDT  

AAMI Park, Melbourne

Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live on Paramount+