Marcelo ‘itching to get back’ ahead of Wanderers’ run with Bulls

Western Sydney Wanderers will welcome back inspirational captain Marcelo for their vital home Isuzu UTE A-League clash with Macarthur FC.

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Marcelo missed last week”s pulsating 4-all draw with Adelaide United with the recurrence of a groin injury.

The veteran Brazilian defender is the heartbeat of the Wanderers side and his return on Saturday night is just the tonic that Marko Rudan’s side needs.

“It is fantastic,” Rudan said.

“We missed him and his leadership last week, particularly dealing with crosses. He is itching to get back and he has had a fantastic week at training as well.”

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 05: Yeni Ngbakoto of the Wanderers celebrates with team mate Marcelo of the Wanderers after scoring a goal during the round 15 A-League Men’s match between Western Sydney Wanderers and Western United at CommBank Stadium, on February 05, 2023, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe/Getty Images)

The Wanderers have only won once in the past seven rounds but are still well positioned in fourth place on the A-League Men’s ladder with 25 points.

The competition is starting to tighten up with just three points separating second and seventh.

Last week the Wanderers displayed intestinal fortitude to secure a valuable point against the odds.

“There were negatives and positives but I’d rather focus on the positives,” Rudan said.

“Getting a point away from home with 10 men, down a goal and we score in injury time. The mental toughness, desire, fight and never give up attitude was evident.

“It is something we are still working on and we want to get better at. 

“We are back at home, in a great time slot on Saturday night.”

ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA – FEBRUARY 19: Brandon Borello of the Wanderers celebrates after scoring his teams first goal with Adama Traore of the Wanderers during the round 17 A-League Men’s match between Adelaide United and Western Sydney Wanderers at Coopers Stadium, on February 19, 2023, in Adelaide, Australia. (Photo by Mark Brake/Getty Images)

Rudan said the club had created greater competition for places with the addition of French international midfielder Morgan Schneiderlin, Tunisian forward Amor Louyini and midfielder Nicolas Milanovic.

“It shows that we have got depth now,” he said.

“Every player is wanting to be in this starting eleven.”

Macarthur are still in the finals race on 21 points, just three points outside the top six.

“It is not going to be an easy game,” Rudan said.

“We respect them. They have got some good individual players in that team. The onus is on us to take the game to them.” 

Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Macarthur FC
Saturday 25 February, 7:45pm
CommBank Stadium