Western United’s international stars to battle Daniel Sturridge

Western United’s international stars both new and old will face one of their toughest challenges yet in the form of Perth Glory’s Daniel Sturridge.

The former Liverpool and Chelsea striker has arrived Down Under with great excitement and made his debut for Perth with a handful of minutes off the bench in their 1-1 draw with Adelaide United in Round 1.

The 32-year-old has a long list of accomplishments – two Champions League titles, one Premier League title, 26 games for England and goals in both a World Cup and a European Championship to name a few.

At his best he was one of the most electric strikers in the European game, destroying opposition defences alongside Luis Suarez for Liverpool.

But now after almost two years without playing a game of football, Sturridge has sought a new challenge in Australia and will look to create a similar spark in the Isuzu UTE A-League Men.

Western United, though, has plenty of international talent of its own. Few can look past captain Alessandro Diamanti, who won the Johnny Warren Medal in his and the Club’s first season, where he almost guided the side into the Grand Final.

The mercurial Italian has continued his impact on and off the pitch and is going again for a third A-League Men campaign, leading Western United into the future.

And this season he is joined by an ever-growing, ever-improving supporting cast. Despite defeat in Round 1, Leo Lacroix was outstanding in his A-League Men debut and will look to go from strength to strength.

The 29-year-old has settled seamlessly into life at the Club, impressing with his commanding nature at the back as well as his ability on the ball, with many marauding runs into midfield and line-splitting passes already on show.

Lacroix’s battle with Sturridge will be a particularly interesting one on the night, with both players set to face each other at close quarters in their respective positions.

At the other end of the pitch, Aleksandar Prijovic could be in line for a first Western United start and will be out to ensure any damage in front of goal comes on his terms.

The Serbian has a strong resume himself, and he will not only go toe-to-toe with Sturridge, but he will look to ensure he is the A-League Men’s major talisman this season.

A goal on his competitive debut in the FFA Cup Play-Off has got Prijovic off to a great start, and a first A-League Men goal will doubtless be just around the corner.