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Dec 09, 2012   |  3:20PM AET

Match Preview: Wanderers v Roar

Match Preview: Wanderers v Roar

The Wanderers will always remember their first game against Brisbane with the club scoring their first-ever goal and win (1-0) in the Hyundai A-League.

Date: Sunday, December 9, 2012
Kick-Off: 5pm AEDT
Venue: Parramatta Stadium, Sydney

Head-to-Head:
Played 1: Wanderers 1, Brisbane 0, Draws: 0

Previous Encounter:
Roar 0-1 Wanderers, October 27, 2012

Form:
Past Five Matches:
Wanderers: WLWLL
Roar: LLWLW

The Game:

The Wanderers will always remember their first game against Brisbane with the club scoring their first-ever goal and win (1-0) in the Hyundai A-League.

These two sides have struggled for consistency so far this season which is why they are both currently outside the top six, locked together on 10 points. It puts huge importance on this clash as they look to remain in touching distance of the finals spots.

The Wanderers have hit a bit of a wall in recent weeks, winning just one of their past four games. They do welcome back winger Youssouf Hersi from suspension but are still missing key midfielder Aaron Mooy on international duty.

Brisbane held on for a vital 1-0 win over Newcastle last Saturday night, but are still searching for their first win on the road this campaign. The Roar were given a boost during the week with playmaker Thomas Broich cleared to play despite his red card against the Jets. Skipper Matt Smith and right-back Ivan Franjic are still away with the Qantas Socceroos, while Mitch Nichols is hopeful of a return to the top squad after playing in the National Youth League last weekend.

The Big Issue:

Wanderers – This might be very much out of their control but Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic will be hoping his side gets a little more luck with refereeing decisions compared to the last few weeks.

The Wanderers were denied what looked two clear penalties in the narrow loss to Wellington last weekend while attacker Hersi was harshly sent off against Perth recently. Given their troubles in front of goal and how tight the A-League is, that little bit of luck from the officials can be crucial.

Roar – They may have got over the line last weekend but the sooner Brisbane coach Rado Vidosic sorts out his differences with midfielder Mitch Nichols the better for everyone.

Nichols is one of the brightest young talents in the country and a key part of the Roar side, yet last week found himself playing in the NYL. There is nothing wrong with a coach trying to get a message across to one of his players but if the Roar are to challenge for a third straight title they need their best players on the park and firing.

The Game Breaker:

Thomas Broich – You have to feel a little for the Wanderers with Broich being freed to play this match despite being shown a red card against the Jets. By his own admission, the classy German has been below his best this season but the drama of last week might just stir him into action. When on his game there’s no craftier or deadlier player in the competition and if he does find some form then the visitors should get revenge for their loss to the Wanderers earlier this season.

Prediction: Wanderers 1-2 Roar

Popovic described his side’s last outing against Wellington as the worst of the season and he will demand a response, especially in front of their home fans.

Given the Wanderers’ troubles in attack, the first goal in this clash could be vital. If the home side get it they will be able to rely on their stingy defence and counter-attacking style to thrive, while if the Roar break through first it could be a tough afternoon for the Wanderers. All is not rosy at Brisbane with speculation coach Vidosic is at odds with some players. They won’t be able to win another title if those rumours are true but the Roar should still be too strong in this one.