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Jan 05, 2013   |  8:51PM AET

Preview Round 15 v Central Coast Mariners – Topor-Stanley to Lead Wanderers Against League Leaders

Preview Round 15 v Central Coast Mariners – Topor-Stanley to Lead Wanderers Against League Leaders

Centre back Nikolai Topor-Stanley will lead the NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers in the Hyundai A-League blockbuster against Central Coast at Parramatta Stadium on Sunday.

Centre back Nikolai Topor-Stanley will lead the NRMA Insurance Western Sydney Wanderers in the Hyundai A-League blockbuster against Central Coast at Parramatta Stadium on Sunday.

Inform Topor-Stanley will wear the captain-s armband for the second time this season in the absence of suspended captain Michael Beauchamp.

Coach Tony Popovic said vice-captain Topor-Stanley was ready for the job against the league leaders.

“Nikolai will lead the team,” Popovic said.

“He is our vice- captain and he has certainly shown a lot of leadership qualities throughout the year.”

A large crowd is expected at Parramatta Stadium to support the giant-killing Wanderers and supporters are advised to buy their tickets in advance to avoid long queues.

The teams last met in the very first Hyundai A-League match for the Wanderers in Round One and the new boys held their experienced opposition to a 0-0 draw.

This time they meet at the same venue with the Mariners leading the league and Wanderers in third position, enjoying five matches in a row without a loss.

Popovic said he expected another tough match from a very well-drilled opposition.

“We know we have a very tough match,” he said.

“We have had many tests and we have one every week and they are tests for different reasons.

“(The Mariners) are the most consistent team in the league, so it certainly is a test.

“But we are at home and our fans will be behind us and we have a group of players that are very confident at the moment and have a lot of belief in each other and we also know that if we are not at our best then it will be difficult to get a result.

“We have certainly improved since that first day and I am sure that Central Coast have also improved and that was a special day.

“It was our first ever match here in the A-League and it is a day we will always remember but a lot has happened since then.

“We have certainly improved as a Club, as a team on the park and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

Wanderers will be without Beauchamp and Youssouf Hersi, both suspended, and strikers Dino Kresinger (knee) and Tahj Minniecon (foot), both injured.

Midfielder Aaron Mooy, back from suspension, will join maestro Shinji Ono in the midfield.

The only other match Beauchamp missed was the Round Six 1-2 loss to Newcastle Jets when he withdrew on the morning of the home game through illness.

“There will be a few changes, a few through injury and a few through suspension but as the players have shown thus far as they have been called upon they have done a great job for the team and I am sure they will give it their all,” Popovic said.

The Wanderers- next home game will be against Central Coast Mariners on Sunday, January 6 at Parramatta Stadium at 6pm.

Kids will be allowed in for free and there will be a “Wander and Kick” opportunity held on the pitch after full time.