SATURDAY night in the A-League sees the second-placed Western Sydney Wanderers and third-placed Brisbane Roar face off at Pirtek Stadium.
The Wanderers are one of the hottest teams in the A-League right now. The reigning Asian Champions are on a five-game winning streak after losing to Sydney FC back in October.
Western Sydney were comfortable winners last time out against the Central Coast Mariners, defeating their fellow New South Welshmen 2-0 – becoming the first team to hold a clean sheet against the Mariners in the process.
The Brisbane Roar have been consistent over the last month without winning a game, securing just one win in four, with three draws.
Their last outing saw them drawing 1-1 with the injury plagued Newcastle Jets, blowing a chance to go back to the top of the A-League.
The Roar have won four of the last five matches against the Wanderers, including 2014’s Grand Final which saw Brisbane beat Western Sydney 2-1.
John Aloisi implores his Roar to take their attacking style on the road against ‘different’ Wanderers
The Roar have only won once on the road this year – coincidently against the Wanderers in round 1 – a fact that is not lost on Roar manager John Aloisi.
Aloisi spoke of the importance of taking the Roar’s attacking flair to the opposition’s stadiums.
“Whether we are playing home or away, we will keep on trying to be the team that’s proactive and take the game to the opposition,” Aloisi said.
“(We will) focus on what we are doing and trying to make sure that we play the style of football that we’ve set out to do since the first day of pre-season.
“For us we believe that it’s the winning way and that’s the way forward for us. Others will have their opinion and their way of playing. We feel that the way we play is going to bring us success.
Aloisi’s team sits in the top-three this season and look set to have another successful campaign, but the man is not letting expectations dictate the team’s mentality.
“We’re not getting ahead. We know that there’s still a long way to go (in the season).
“We know that we need to improve still in the way that we want to play within our structures and our patterns and I think that we are doing that.”
Brisbane will face stiff opposition in the form of the Western Sydney Wanderers, who have won the last five matches in a row.
The Roar defeated the Wanderers in round one 3-1, but Western Sydney midfielder Dario Vidosic believes his team are much better placed this time around to turn the tables on their northern opponents.
“It was always confidence, even when we didn’t start the best in the first three rounds, were we felt we deserved more, now we’re reaping the rewards of all the hard work we’ve been putting together.” Vidosic said.
“We’re really looking forward to this weekend’s game coming back home, we know it will be a great game especially after the first round when they got the win.”
Vidosic said the team’s new found confidence will hold them in good stead on Saturday night.
“We’re in a different spot now, we feel we’re much better.
It will be another great challenge and hopefully (we’ll) keep the win streak (alive).”
Match betting predictions
Odds provided by Sportsbet.com.au
Winner: Western Sydney Wanderers – $2.00
First goal scorer: Mitch Nichols – $12.00
First team to score: Western Sydney Wanderers- $1.78
Round 9 in the A-League sees the 2014 Grand Finalists meet in the West of Sydney in a battle that has the potential to be the match of the season.
The Brisbane Roar travel to face off against the Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday night, with the winner having the potential to sit at the top of the league after the conclusion of the round if the Victory fail to win their away match against the Wellington Phoenix in New Zealand.
The Wanders are looking to extend their five game win streak which has seen them surge from the bottom of the table to joint leaders at the top of the table, while the Roar are looking to get back on the winner’s list after a series of frustrating draws.
It promises to be a fantastic contest, with both teams displaying attacking flair throughout the 2015/16 season.
The match will be won and lost through the midfield, and with an injury cloud over Wanderers’ playmaker Dario Visodic after he left the field early in his team’s 2-0 victory over the Mariners, the Asian champions could potentially have a large hole to fill in their side.
The man himself shrugged off concerns, saying the substitution was precautionary, and expects to line up on Saturday.
If Visodic is good to go as expected it is hard to see the Wanderers losing at home, with their remarkable turnaround this season just getting started.
Expect the Western Sydney hot streak to continue into a sixth week.
A-League specials and promotions for round 9
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