Football 2 years ago

Wanderers eye Adelaide A-League redemption

  • Wanderers eye Adelaide A-League redemption

Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic believes his Wanderers can turn their A-League fortunes around against an Adelaide United outfit under the pump to produce a result.

The expectation for improvement weighs on both camps for Friday night's unofficial Spanish derby, following Adelaide's less-than-audacious draw with Melbourne Victory and the Wanderers' merciless thumping at the hands of Brisbane.

But the Reds will carry the onus on their home turf at Coopers Stadium, where an unconvincing result will start to throw up questions about whether they are genuine title contenders.

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New coach Guillermo Amor understood the importance of the match against a team still looking to prove themselves.

"I expect a difficult game, because they lost their last game at home and to lose two games is difficult," Amor said.

"But we know the team is a good team and they have our players - our Spanish players, and a Spanish (assistant) coach."

The Reds and Wanderers boast the biggest Spanish influence in the league following Popovic's off-season recruitment of trio Andreu, Dimas and Alberto, who didn't play last week but have been named in the extended squad.

For Adelaide, speedy Catalan forward Sergio Cirio could prove the difference, especially if their opponents' defence is still shaky.

An optimistic Popovic said the squad had worked on those "little details", including defence in the box and poor execution.

"If we can improve on both fronts ... we give ourselves a very good chance of coming away with the points," he said.

"We know they have some dangerous players, but I think this week we'll see our dangerous players cause them some problems as well."

Whether one of those, Dario Vidosic, gets to start against his old side remains undecided as the new marquee signing fights to recover full fitness.

Adelaide crucially will be missing injured captain and goalkeeper Eugene Galekovic, but Amor has given his full backing to youngster John Hall to fill in for six weeks, while returned Socceroo Tarek Elrich adds experience in defence.

STATS THAT MATTER:

* Adelaide have beaten the Wanderers in four of their last five home A-League encounters, keeping a clean sheet on three of those occasions

* The Wanderers haven't kept a clean sheet in their last 14 matches

* Adelaide have only lost once in their past nine home games, scoring 22 goals, while the Wanderers have only managed one victory in their last 14 away matches, conceding 26 goals

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