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Dec 31, 2012   |  7:19PM AET

Preview Round 14 v Melbourne Victory

Preview Round 14 v Melbourne Victory

The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers were looking forward to testing themselves against a red hot Melbourne Victory FC at Parramatta Stadium on New Year’s Day.

The NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers were looking forward to testing themselves against a red hot Melbourne Victory FC at Parramatta Stadium on New Year-s Day.

Coach Tony Popovic said there was no denying that the home game against Victory was a big occasion for the Hyundai A-League-s newest club.

“This is a big match for our football club and we are looking forward to it,” Popovic said.

“I am sure our fans are looking forward to it as well and we can-t wait to get out there on Tuesday night.
“We are looking forward to seeing where we are at. To see if our recent good form can continue.

“These are the type of games as a footballer that you look forward to.

“This is a test for our players and they want to see how they can go against a very good side.“

Victory is sitting at third on the Hyundai A-League table and the Wanderers are in fourth spot.

Victory beat the Wanderers 2-0 at Parramatta in round eight after being reduced to ten men in the first half.

Both teams have been in fantastic form in recent weeks.

“We are very confident in ourselves and I am sure Melbourne Victory is confident so it should be a good match,” Popovic said.

“Melbourne are a very good side and we want to put on a good performance and if we can do that we are a good chance of getting the points.”

Popovic admitted Victory winger Marco Rojas was in impressive form.

“It is not easy to stop those sorts of players and he is an exceptional talent who is playing very well, and collectively as a unit they are playing very well at the moment,” he said.

“I think we have certainly improved since that game (in round eight) and it was a unique circumstance for us to play against ten men so early and it is hard to be prepared for a situation like that against such a very good side that are so good on the counter attack even if it is eleven v eleven.

“We got punished on that day but we learned a lot but since that day we have shown a gradual improvement and we are hoping we can show that tomorrow night on the pitch.

“There are two good teams in quite good form at the moment and we are looking forward to the test to see how far we have come.”

Popovic said defender Adam D-Apuzzo-s calf injury was improving and he was a chance of playing against the Central Coast Mariners at Parramatta Stadium on January 6.
Forward Tahj Minniecon will also miss the Victory game with an injured foot and midfielder Aaron Mooy is suspended for one match for accumulated yellow cards.

Otherwise he had a large squad to select from.

“It is a good headache to have and have so many players fit and fighting for their positions,” Popovic said.

“I will have to let a few players down but I am sure they will be as professional as they have been and they will keep fighting hard to get into the team.”