Western Sydney Wanderers vs. Melbourne City: Don’t Sell The Big Red Short

Paul Retre of City FC and Scott Jamieson of the Wanderers compete for the ball during the round 14 A-League match between Melbourne City FC and the Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park on January 9, 2016 in Melbourne, Australia. January 09, 2016| Credit: Scott Barbour
Western Sydney Wanderers vs. Melbourne City: Don’t Sell The Big Red Short

Okay, so in the Hyundai A-League, you already know about the Big Blue between Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC, the king of all derby matches in Australasia’s premier association football club competition. You know the crowds that come to the games, you know the atmospheres they bring, you know the energy that both sides have to make every match memorable in its own right. So there’s that.

But…have you heard of the other relevant Sydney vs. Melbourne rivalry in the A-League? Here at The Stoppage Time, we refer to the rivalry between Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne City as The Big Red, as both teams incorporate that color to their respective teams. For the Wanderers, it’s red and black; for City, it’s red and light blue.

Yes, we already understand that Melbourne City and Sydney FC are facing each other in the W-League Grand Final this weekend (catch a preview of that contest later this week on TST), and you can never be bored with the banter from the Red and Black Bloc and North Terrace during matches between the Wanderers and Victory. But here’s the main reason why this edition of the Big Red is special: both teams are at the top of the A-League ladder.

With Western Sydney on top at 30 points and Melbourne City second on 28, either win will put them on the ascendancy in Round 17 of the A-League season. And with their more established neighbors finding their winning touch again, Melbourne City need a strong showing to hold off a ferocious Premiership Plate defense by the current premiers and champions. Treble holders, too.

Kickoff is scheduled for Jan. 29  at Parramatta Stadium in Parramatta, Western Sydney, New South Wales, Australia at 7:40 p.m. AEDT/12:40 a.m. PT/3:40 a.m. ET. Here are 10 Bold Predictions for The Big Red between Western Sydney Wanderers and Melbourne City.

  • At least four goals will be scored.
  • Mark Bridge will score for Western Sydney.
  • Dario Vidosic will score for Western Sydney.
  • Andrew Redmayne will make under four saves.
  • Thomas Sorensen will make at least five saves.
  • Harry Novillo will score for Melbourne City.
  • Bruno Fornaroli will score for Melbourne City.
  • No goals will be scored in the first 15 minutes.
  • At least 35 fouls will be whistled.
  • Under five cards will be issued.

We have a draw in the cards in this contest. Western Sydney will remain at the top of the ladder for at least another week but do not be surprised if by the end of this round, the race gets even more close. Take your pick as to who will get the dinner plate at the end of Round 27, this is going to go down to the wire.

Western Sydney Wanderers 2, Melbourne City 2

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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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