The Weekly Wanderer: Business As Usual

With the bad blood between the fans and the FFA now seemingly over, the Wanderers entertain Melbourne Victory this weekend in what is sure to be a sold-out top of the table encounter.

Justice is served, A-League fans are now allowed access to an appeals process. The news now signals the end of a league-wide boycott in which active support groups across the country (and supporting public) suspend match day involvement in its entirety. After forcing through a 20,000 figure attendance drop last weekend, Hyundai A-League fans may resume business as usual.

The Western Sydney Wanderers capitalised on the Victory’s 2-0 defeat to Wellington last weekend in stunning fashion. Thanks to Mitch Nichol’s curling effort the Wanderers were able to see off Brisbane 2-1 and assume top spot in the league standings. As a result, Kevin Muscat’s men will be out for revenge this weekend in a match that looks certain to grab all the headlines.

After suffering two defeats in his first three games of the season, Tony Popovic has turned things around. His side have now won their last six consecutive matches and are beginning to establish themselves as a serious contender for this year’s title. Despite having a game in hand over the home side this weekend, defeat for the Victory would see them fall three points behind pole position; a possibility they will surely look to avoid.

Bar a recurring slip in the Hunter region, the Victory have been superb this season. The killer ‘B’ trio of Kosta Barbarouses, Fahid Ben Khalfallah and Besart Berisha have been firing to full effect, and with the FFA Cup already won, a league double looks next in line. As a result of last season’s dominance, many teams have looked to tweak their approach against the Victory this season. But while only the Jets and the Phoenix have reaped rewards thus far, the rest have fallen.

As Western Sydney welcome back Federico Piovaccari and Jonathan Aspropotamitis to the lineup this weekend, Melbourne will be without Carl Valeri yet again this weekend due to illness. Nevertheless, and regardless of who takes the pitch, this first-versus-second encounter will be quite the battle. A battle set to reach captivating heights both on the pitch and from the stands.

These two sets of supporters, having set the benchmark in terms of crowd involvement and creativity, are quite the spectacle to watch. And while a win for the Wanderers would see them reach seven in a row, a win for the Melbourne boys would also be enough to reclaim first place. As a result, expect goals, sound, song, and a full-house inside Wanderland this weekend.