AAMI Park in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia knows drama as much as it knows football. John van ‘t Schip‘s Melbourne City Football Club are in a Finals Series race, and Tony Popovic‘s Western Sydney Wanderers are next on their schedule on Saturday, Jan. 9. The Wanderers are 8-3-2 (27 points, 2nd) after a scoreless draw with Adelaide United at home. As for Melbourne City, a 2-2 draw with Sydney FC at home slowed their momentum down.
Both sides will be poised for a win. However, Italian striker Federico Piovaccari has come under pressure for failing to meet the high expectations set by the Wanderers support. When asked of Piovaccari’s lack of form, Popovic dismissed such suggestions.
“It’ll fall for him – once he gets one goal, it’ll fall and he’ll be back in a rhythm,” Popovic told the Adelaide Advertiser. “The last two games before he got injured he scored twice – it was a shame he got injured at the time, and has to start again, but I believe he’s come back at a better level physically than he was before the injury. So there are promising signs for him.
“He was better again from last week, he was solid. The goal that was disallowed should have been a goal, they’re both pulling each other and he deserved a goal for that. So it’s disappointing for him but he looked a constant threat throughout the game.
“He looks a lot fitter now, he’s adapting. He’ll only get better. If you watch how he’s playing, his confidence looks good. I thought he did well the week before in his first game after a month out. Against Adelaide he looked always dangerous and he was moving a lot better.”
Kickoff is scheduled for 12:30 a.m. PT/3:30 a.m. ET/7:30 p.m. AEDT. Here’s what we think will happen between Melbourne City and the Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park.
- Bruno Fornaroli will score for Melbourne City.
- Aaron Hughes will score for Melbourne City.
- Mark Bridge will score for Western Sydney.
- Romeo Castelen will score for Western Sydney.
- Thomas Sorensen will make at least four saves.
- Andrew Redmayne will make under four saves.
- At least 40 fouls will be whistled.
- Under six cards will be issued.
- At least 10,000 will be in attendance.
- No goals will be scored in the first half.
So what do you get when you get a draw and a draw on either end? You get, of course, a draw. This will be an exciting stalemant to watch at AAMI Park, and both the Wanderers and Melbourne City will have to split the points as the teams in the middle of the table start to catch up.
Melbourne City 2, Western Sydney Wanderers 2