Melbourne Victory vs. Western Sydney Wanderers Preview: Who Blinks?

Wanderers fans sing and support before the start of play during the round 10 A-League match between the Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne Victory at Pirtek Stadium on December 12, 2015 in Sydney, Australia. December 12, 2015| Credit: Matt King
Melbourne Victory vs. Western Sydney Wanderers Preview: Who Blinks?

Two big teams. Two big names. Two big cities. Two bastions of support. Bad blood reaching Taylor Swift levels of bad. Let’s not kid ourselves one bloody bit. Whenever Kevin Muscat’s Melbourne Victory and Tony Popovic’s Western Sydney Wanderers go to battle, the fans will be at war with each other. It can lead to stuff like this…

And this…

And most importantly…this!

See what we mean? Melbourne Victory need a positive result more from this match than Western Sydney, as the Victory could see themselves relegated to sixth on the ladder with a loss on Saturday night at Etihad Stadium in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

Here’s a recap of last weekend’s defeat by the Victory to Perth.

Perth Glory: 1.Ante COVIC (gk), 2.Alex GRANT, 3.Marc WARREN, 4.Shane LOWRY, 7.Gyorgy SANDOR, 9.Andy KEOGH, 10.Nebojsa MARINKOVIC (11.Richard GARCIA 90’), 13.Diogo FERREIRA (18.Mitch OXBORROW 77’), 14.Chris HAROLD (24.Jamal REINERS 76’), 17.Diego CASTRO, 19.Josh RISDON (c)

Melbourne Victory: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 2.Jason GERIA, 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 6.Leigh BROXHAM (c) (16.Rashid MAHAZI 83’), 7.Gui FINKLER (10.Archie THOMPSON 67’), 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 13.Oliver BOZANIC, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 17.Matthieu DELPIERRE, 24.Thomas DENG (4.Nick ANSELL 72’)

Scorers: Andy Keogh (27’), Diego Castro (29’), Besart Berisha (44’), Besart Berisha (69’), Diego Castro (82’ pen)

Red cards: Fahid Ben Khalfallah (56’)

Yellow cards: Daniel Georgievski (17’), Matthieu Delpierre (82’), Mitch Oxborrow (87’), Nebojsa Marinkovic (88’), Rashid Mahazi (90’+2)

Conditions: 22C, wet and humid

Attendance: 10,501 at nib Stadium

Kickoff for Saturday night’s contest is scheduled for 12:30 a.m. PT/3:30 a.m. ET. The Live Blog of this match is scheduled for 10 p.m. PT (Friday)/1 a.m. ET and will include bonus coverage of Brisbane vs. Central Coast. Here are 10 Bold Predictions for Saturday’s match between Melbourne Victory.

  • Mark Bridge will score for Western Sydney Wanderers.
  • Brendon Santalab will score for Western Sydney Wanderers.
  • Mitch Nichols will score for Western Sydney Wanderers.
  • Besart Berisha will score for Melbourne Victory.
  • A red card will be issued.
  • A penalty will be awarded.
  • Danny Vukovic will make at least four saves.
  • Andrew Redmayne will make under four saves.
  • At least 40 fouls will be whistled.
  • At least four cards will be issued.

Western Sydney may look like the team to beat in the Finals Series as we head into the final third of the home-and-away season. They will crush the Melbourne Victory on the road, a side that will be reeling from the absence of a certain Fahid Ben Khalfallah in the midfield.

Western Sydney Wanderers 3, Melbourne Victory 1

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Jo-Ryan Salazar is a writer for The Stoppage Time, a soccer blog powered by Azteca Soccer. A supporter of the Los Angeles Galaxy since 1996 and a committed supporter since 2002, Jo-Ryan also follows Chelsea FC, Melbourne Victory, FC Tokyo and Paris Saint-Germain. Apart from soccer, Jo-Ryan is an administrative assistant for a local nonprofit in Long Beach, California and also does photography, photo-editing and fictional writing.

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