The Weekly Wanderer: Must-Win

Must-Win (verb): 1. refers to a match that must be won based on the implications it may have toward others 2. Western Sydney Wanderers vs. Perth Glory

Despite last week’s 1-1 draw in the Sydney Derby, the Wanderers still managed to finish the weekend on top of the league. However, with Perth Glory hot on the heels of a finals placing, this Friday’s encounter at Pirtek presents a must-win match for either side.

The Wanderers started the derby in full control. A plethora of promising forays forward had away fans full of optimism – even more so after Dario Vidosic glanced a Mark Bridge cross emphatically passed Vedran Janjetovic. But as the game wore on, these high hopes quickly faded. Sydney, debuting a change in their usual formation, came out in the second half and dictated the rest of the match with Matt Simon in particular passing up a handful of opportunities to kill the game and take the points.

It’s the type of performances that are becoming rather routine from Tony Popovic’s men. The draw means that Western Sydney are now winless in three games and in danger of falling to as low as fourth should fixtures go against them this weekend. And as we approach the business end of the regular season, they’re the type of performances we never want to see again.

Perth Glory meanwhile enter this Friday’s away fixture in formidable form. Kenny Lowe’s squad are on a five-game winning streak and sit just one point adrift of fifth placed Melbourne Victory. The return of Andy Keogh, coupled with the impact of Diego Castro has allowed the rest of the team to turn their season around in stunning fashion. It’s the sort of stuff nobody saw coming and the sort of stuff that makes this weekend’s round of matches all the more important.

The Wanderers will welcome Alberto back into the squad this Friday after the Spaniard completed his two-game suspension last weekend. The former Getafe defender has been immense for the red and blacks this season and will no doubt reassume his position alongside Nikolai Topor-Stanley in the heart of defence. The defence – subject to a lot of questioning from fans and pundits alike – will need to step up in order to deny a Glory side boasting 18 goals in their past five games. All in all, this match is sure to be a great encounter contested right until the last whistle with losing simply not an option. From here on in, every match is a must-win.