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Feb 23, 2022 at 6.25am UK at GMHBA Stadium
Western Utd
1 - 0
Sydney FC
Lustica (67')
Theoharous (90+4')
FT(HT: 0-0)

Burgess (10'), Warland (74')

Preview: Western United vs. Sydney FC - prediction, team news, lineups

:Headline: Preview: Western United vs. Sydney FC - prediction, team news, lineups:
Sports Mole previews Friday's Australian A-League clash between Western United and Sydney FC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.
Sports Mole

Since this article was published, this game has been called off due to a coronavirus outbreak. A new date for the game will be confirmed in due course.

Third-placed Western United have the opportunity to climb to the top of the Australian A-League on Friday, when they host Sydney FC at AAMI Park in Melbourne.

Sydney currently sit sixth with eight points after just six games of the season, with both of these sides being affected by postponements due to coronavirus in recent weeks.


Match preview

Western's fixture against Western Sydney Wanderers last Saturday was cancelled meaning that John Aloisi's side's last match came on December 26 against Melbourne Victory.

United missed their chance to leapfrog the now league leaders as they fell to a 3-1 defeat against Victory, despite creating just as many good chances in front of goal as their hosts.

That defeat ended Western's four-game winning run in the A-League, during which time Aloisi's side won each of those games by a scoreline of 1-0, making the three goals which they conceded against Melbourne Victory more disappointing.

Western are the lowest scorers in the top eight teams in the division during this early stage of the season, suggesting that they will need to improve in the attacking third to ensure that they do not need to rely on keeping clean sheets.

In comparison, Sydney are in fine goalscoring form, having netted five times in their last two matches, which have been spread out due to two postponements of matches.

Steve Corica's side were comfortable 3-0 winners over second-placed Macarthur last time out thanks to goals from Patrick Wood, Max Burgess and Trent Buhagiar, sending their opposition to their first defeat of the campaign.

That result would have lifted the confidence among the Sydney squad, and another three points against a team that is above them in the table on Friday will take the visitors to within one point of Western.

Another positive from their last game was that Corica's side recorded only their second clean sheet of the season, their first since the opening day in November, and they will fancy their chances at securing another one on Friday given Western's low scoring record.

Sydney completed the double over Western last year, winning 1-0 during the last meeting in May, courtesy of a 76th-minute penalty converted by Adam Le Fondre.

Western United Australian A-League form:
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • W
  • L

Western United form (all competitions):
  • W
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W
  • L

Sydney FC Australian A-League form:
  • D
  • L
  • D
  • L
  • W
  • W

Sydney FC form (all competitions):
  • L
  • D
  • W
  • L
  • W
  • W

Team News

Aloisi made just one change last time out with Dylan Pierias coming into the side in place of experienced midfielder Alessandro Diamanti, but the Italian is expected to come back into the starting 11 on Friday.

Connor Pain and Dylan Wenzel-Halls have been Western's main source of goals so far this season, netting four times between them, and the attacking pair are certain to start again.

Midfielder Steven Lustica was forced off just before half time against Adelaide United but he made a full recovery to start again against Melbourne Victory, and he will continue in the middle of the park alongside Neil KilKenny.

Sydney will operate in their favoured 4-4-2 formation, with Buhagiar and Patrick Wood expected to continue to lead the line, but the attacking duo could be replaced by Elvis Kamsoba and Le Fondre.

Harry Van der Saag was replaced by Rhyan Grant in the back four last time out, and Corica is expected to name the same defensive quartet that kept a clean sheet against Macarthur.

Western United possible starting lineup:
Young; Ridson, Topor-Stanley, Lacroix, Risdon; Kilkenny, Lustica; Pain, Diamanti, Wales; Wenzel-Halls

Sydney FC possible starting lineup:
Redmayne; King, Wilkinson, Donachie, Grant; Burgess, Yazbek, Retre, Caceres; Buhagiar, Wood


We say: Western United 1-2 Sydney FC

Sydney would have been majorly boosted by their 3-0 win last time out while a 3-1 defeat for Western could have dented their confidence, giving the visitors a good opportunity to capitalise on that this Friday.

Sydney showed their attacking prowess in that game, while Western showed their defensive weaknesses against Melbourne Victory, suggesting Corica can guide his side to victory.



Top tip

Our expert tipster partners at Sporita.com are predicting over 2.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Over 2.5:data



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