Match Preview: Adelaide v Wanderers

Our Wander Women travel to Adelaide this weekend, looking to recover after their unbeaten run ended last time out.

The Wanderers were seeking a record fifth win in a row when they hosted the Brisbane Roar at Marconi Stadium on Saturday afternoon, but two quick goals early in the second half from the visitors condemned them to a 3-1 defeat after each side scored a goal in the first half.

It was a frustrating result given that the Wanderers could have moved into second with a win, as well as the manners of the goals conceded, with lapses in concentration at the back seeing Western Sydney concede three goals for just the third time this season.

The loss means the Wanderers slid down to sixth, though they have a game in hand on most of the teams above and below them, and they still only sit three points off their crosstown rivals who sit in second.

There were also positives to take from the individual performances despite the defeat, with Holly Caspers scoring for a third game in a row with a well taken goal just before half-time; the attacker now has three goals and five assists to her name and is one of the most important players in the side.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 27: Tameka Yallop of the Roar is challenged by Holly Caspers of the Wanderers during the A-League Women round 14 match between Western Sydney Wanderers and Brisbane Roar at Marconi Stadium, on January 27, 2024, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Matt King/Getty Images)

Young teenager Talia Younis was also a bright spark off the bench in the second half with her aggression and tenacity as she tried to lift her side back into the game.

Coach Robbie Hooker will look to ensure the Wanderers shrug off the result, as they need to resume their winning ways to keep the chasing pack off their tails, and they will need to have their guard up against an Adelaide United side fresh off a win.

The Reds had previously lost four games in a row, but they secured a gritty come from behind win at home against top four side Perth Glory, with goals from Isabel Hodgson and Nanako Sasaki enough to secure a vital three points as they moved off the bottom of the table.

It has been a difficult season for Adelaide with just three wins and having the worst defensive record in the league having conceded 31 goals in 14 games, but they did manage to defeat the Wanderers in the return fixture back in December of last year.

A very early goal from Dylan Holmes was all the Reds needed to secure a surprise three points away from home, as they held on despite a late red card to Ella Tonkin; the Wanderers had 18 shots that day compared to Adelaide’s nine, but were wasteful at the crucial moments and let a winnable game slip.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – DECEMBER 23: Victoria Frances Bruce of the Wanderers controls the ball during the A-League Women round nine match between Western Sydney Wanderers and Adelaide United at Wanderers Football Park, on December 23, 2023, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Evans/Getty Images)

They will be desperate not to repeat the same mistakes as they make an away trip where they haven’t tasted success since 2019, when three second half goals saw them win 4-1.

Their last trip to Adelaide came in 2021, where an early Olivia Price goal was soon cancelled out by an Isabel Hodgson goal, before two goals just after half-time secured a 3-1 win for Adelaide.

Despite finishing above Adelaide last season and being nine points ahead of them ahead of the weekend, the Wanderers are six games without a win against their opponents, but despite each side’s result last round, the Wanderers will still feel confident of getting back on their feet and recording a win that would see them edge closer to a first finals berth since the 2019-20 season.