Anyone can contribute to The Roar and have their work featured alongside some of Australia’s most prominent sports journalists.
Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Melbourne Victory welcomes Western Sydney Wanderers to Marvel Stadium for their Round 2 clash on Friday evening, 7:30pm (AEDT). Join The Roar for live scores and a blog of the match.
Most tipsters and betting agencies have the home side in as favourites for this game, but the Wanderers will be full of confidence after a 2-1 win over the Central Coast Mariners in Round 1.
Victory, on the other hand, scrapped for a goalless draw against cross-town rivals Melbourne City in their Round 1 game, and appeared to be still bedding in Marco Kurz’s game-plan.
Despite giving up 17 shots to City with four of those on target (vs Victory’s one), the home side were millimetres away from three points when Elvis Kamsoba’s excellent finish from an Ola Toivonen throughball was ruled out for offside.
Key summer signing Andrew Nabbout was industrious out on the right, but other new boys in midfield Jakob Poulsen and Kristijan Dobras were steady on debut without leaving an impression.
Indeed the midfield 3 of Leigh Broxham, Dobras and Poulsen is something of a comedown from last season’s Keisuke Honda, James Troisi, and Terry Antonis – but Marco Kurz will hope that with game time they will gel and start feeding his more star-studded front 3 of Toivonen, Nabbout and (the still out injured) Robbie Kruse.
The Wanderers have improved steadily since the second half of last season, and coach Markus Babbel seems to have finally found a groove in this league.
Babbel’s January 2019 signing Mitch Duke is leading the way up front. scoring twice against the Mariners and terrorising them throughout.
Babbel’s offseason repatriation of experienced central defenders Matt Jurman and Dylan McGowan has solidified the defence, and by moving to a 3-5-2 this season’s Wanderers should be harder to score against – although the Mariners did find goals and chances against them.
This week the Wanderers also welcome back striker Kwame Yeboah from injury and young full back Tate Russell from the young Socceroos, while Victory can recall their back up striker Kenny Athiu from international duty with South Sudan.
Alas for the Victory Kruse is still unavailable as is their other offseason signing Tim Hoogland.
With key elements of his best 11 still out, Marco Kurz will be hoping for a little more fluidity in this game – especially from his Internationals – to properly introduce his reign to the home fans.
Victory at home are always a tough proposition, and they should go into this game with confidence. However, the Wanderers should see this match as a great opportunity for an upset.
Indeed Babbel can set his season up here if he can go into Marvel and get three points. It’ll be unlikely, but I do expect goals and this match screams “Desmond” to me.
Melbourne Victory 2 – Western Sydney Wanderers 2