Match Preview: Wanderers v Perth

The Western Sydney Wanderers return to CommBank Stadium for Saturday afternoon football against the Perth Glory.

The side is looking to return to winning ways after a frustrating last match against the Newcastle Jets, where they had to claw back a two goal deficit to earn a share of the points in a 2-2 draw.

Despite having more possession and creating more chances in the match, the Wanderers found themselves down 2-0 at half-time as the Jets scored twice on the counter attack through Apostolos Stamatelopoulos.

Western Sydney were able to show their fighting spirit in the second half as Joshua Brillante scored his first goal for the club just after the hour mark with a close range header, before Swedish marksman Marcus Antonsson scored his first league goal for the club with just under 10 minutes left to bring the side level.

NEWCASTLE, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 05: Marcelo of the Wanderers celebrates his goal during the A-League Men round three match between Newcastle Jets and Western Sydney Wanderers at McDonald Jones Stadium, on November 05, 2023, in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Scott Gardiner/Getty Images)

Whilst there is disappointment the Wanderers couldn’t find the winning goal, the fightback means the side remains undefeated after three games of the season, leaving them in fifth place ahead of their clash with the Glory.

Perth will make the long trip across the country with confidence after they secured their first win of the season last round against last year’s champions Central Coast Mariners; goals from Stefan Colakovski and Adam Taggart in second half stoppage time gave the Glory a 2-0 win in front of their fans, marking Alen Stajcic’s first league win as head coach.

It is a time of much change in Western Australia; Stajcic is taking his first season in charge, and the club also has new owners after Robert Brij and John Neckic of the Primeland Group taking over from longtime owner Tony Sage.

There have also been changes in the playing roster, with Oliver Sail, Alex Susjnar and former Wanderers player of the year Bruce Kamau joining the Stajcic revolution; whilst the likes of current Wanderers left back jack Clisby, Ryan Williams and Keegan Jelacic departed the club.

This comes off the back of a disappointing 2022-23 season for the Glory, where the club parted ways with coach Richard Garcia during the season and fell to a disappointing ninth placed finish, six points outside of the top six.

Despite their struggles, Perth managed to win the season series against the Wanderers thanks to two 1-0 wins in Perth, after the Wanderers won by the same scoreline in the opening round of the season.

These results mean the clubs are tied in the overall head-to-head rankings with 12 wins apiece and nine draws, though Perth’s record on the road against the Wanderers is not a flattering one; the Glory have just three wins in Western Sydney, the last of those coming in January 2020.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – OCTOBER 28: Lachlan Brook of the Wanderers celebrates scoring a goal with team mates during the A-League Men round two match between Western Sydney Wanderers and Western United at CommBank Stadium, on October 28, 2023, in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Brendon Thorne/Getty Images)

Perth’s away record was a huge cause of concern last season, as they won just one game outside of Western Australia, against the Central Coast Mariners in the early part of the season.

The Wanderers will look to exploit this as they chase a second win of the season, and will hope to recreate their first half of two rounds ago against Western United, where the side scored five first half goals to secure a dominant 5-0 win.

The likes of Lachlan Brook, Nicolas Milanovic and Marcus Antonsson have shown their goalscoring exploits so far this season, and with the likes of Socceroo Brandon Borrello and recent centurion Dylan Pierias also posing a potent threat, coach Marko Rudan will be hoping for another free-flowing attacking performance in front of the Red and Black Bloc in Parramatta.