NPL 1 Preview: Wanderers v Rockdale

Our NPL NSW side returns home this weekend looking to bounce back from a late loss in their last match when they take on Rockdale Ilinden FC at Wanderers Football Park.

Two late goals from Sydney Olympic consigned the Wanderers to a 3-1 defeat and put an end to a positive run of form, with the NPL debuts of Nicolas Milanovic and Josh Hong not being enough to turn the tide.

The upcoming clash is their only home game in the month of July, and the side will be desperate to pick up a positive result against a Rockdale side reeling from a shock defeat.

Despite playing at home, Rockdale were stunned when Wollongong Wolves raced out to a 3-0 lead at half time, adding a second goal in the second half to record a 4-0 win that shocked the rest of the league.

It is not the only surprising loss Rockdale have received this season, with the side also losing 2-1 to bottom side Bulls FC Academy back in April.

However their performances for much of the season have been hugely impressive, with the side currently sitting in third, star striker Alec Urosevski being the league’s top scorer with 19 goals.

The Wanderers know the strike power of their opponents, as the side was on the receiving end of a heavy 5-1 defeat when the sides clashed earlier in the season at Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre.

Hong and Edmund Lupancu – who scored the equaliser for the Wanderers in their match against Olympic – will need to be on the top of their game in the centre of defence to keep Urosevski quiet, whilst strike weapons in Milanovic and marcus Younis will look to use their pace and skill against opposing full backs to create opportunities.

The Wanderers won’t be short of motivation this weekend, with a win potentially seeing them climb out of the relegation zone.

NPL NSW Round 22
Western Sydney Wanderers FC vs Rockdale Ilinden FC
Saturday 1st July 2023, 7:00pm
Wanderers Football Park