Kawasaki v Wanderers | Preview
Kawasaki Frontale host Western Sydney Wanderers on matchday four of the 2014 AFC Champions League at Todoroki Stadium on tonight at 9pm AEDT.
The Western Sydney Wanderers aim to claim the double over Kawasaki Frontale in the AFC Champions League when they take on the Japanese side tonight at Todoroki Stadium, kick-off at 9pm AEDT.
Facing a Kawasaki side gaining momentum in the J-League the Wanderers will look to replicate the attacking start that saw them take a 1-0 home victory in their last meeting at Parramatta Stadium.
Sitting in second place in Group H on six points the Red and Black will need to continue their ACL momentum if they are to keep the heat on first placed Ulsan Hyundai and maintain a three point lead over their Japanese opponents.
Wanderers head coach Tony Popovic says they are sticking to their game plan and not focussing on any individual players.
“If we focus on one player that could be a problem for us, so we-ve not focussed on one individual,” said Popovic.
“We-re well prepared for Kawasaki-s strengths and we feel that there are areas we can exploit and that-s for us to try to do”.
Midfielder Jason Trifiro believes that they can perform well if they stick to the game plan.
“A result against Kawasaki would be good for us and would mean we are pretty close to progressing” claimed Trifiro.
Trifiro also said the team-s solid position in the AFC Champions League and impressive performance against Kawasaki on Match Day 3 has the side feeling good ahead of the clash.
“Our confidence is good in the Champions League; we believe we can win going into this game.”
Half way through the group stage of the competition the Western Sydney Wanderers sit in second place, just six point behind Ulsan Hyundai who are leading Group H on seven points. Kawasaki Frontale are in third place with three while Chinese side Guizhou Renhe bring up the rear on one point.
Make sure to catch the Wanderers as they aim to put pressure on group leaders Ulsan Hyundai by doing the double over Kawasaki Frontale tonight, coverage starting at 8:50pm on Fox Sports 1 and Fox Sports 1HD.
Kawasaki Frontale host Western Sydney Wanderers on matchday four of the 2014 AFC Champions League at Todoroki Stadium tonight at 9pm AEDT.
Played: 1, Wins: Frontale 0, Wanderers 1, Draws: 0
Wanderers 1-0 Frontale, March 19 2014
Past five matches: Frontale: WWLLL Wanderers: LWWDW
Avoiding defeat would be a good result for the Wanderers, who sit second behind Ulsan in Group H. Tony Popovic's side are a point behind the South Korean leaders and three clear of Kawasaki Frontale. With a home match against lowly Guizhou Renhe to come, a point would be solid for the Wanderers. They enter the clash on the back of a 2-1 loss to Central Coast in the A-League, while Frontale are starting to find some form in the J.League. After a slow start to the campaign, Yahiro Kazama's men have won consecutive games to be sitting seventh. The Wanderers are third domestically, a point behind second place.
The big issue:
Frontale – can the team who finished third in the J.League last season take their momentum into continental competition? After a sluggish start to the campaign, they have claimed 4-0 and 1-0 wins over Tokyo and Nagoya Grampus respectively. The latter victory was the more impressive against a Nagoya side who sit sixth in the league. The strike partnership of Yu Kobayashi and Yoshito Okubo has been prolific, with both scoring four times in the league this season.
Wanderers – if Popovic's men can return to the form that saw them keep four consecutive clean sheets. Just as it looked like the Wanderers had cut out the sloppy, uncharacteristic errors that saw them lose three straight games in all competitions, mistakes returned against the Mariners. They stood off Josh Rose for the opener before a poor pass in the middle third led to Bernie Ibini's 90th-minute winner. Western Sydney were exceptional defensively in their debut season and will be eager to return to that kind of form late in their campaign.
The game breaker:
Tomi Juric – the striker is likely to play an important role if given the opportunity away from home. If the Wanderers decide to sit deep, the 22-year-old will be a key in holding the ball up, drawing fouls and bringing his team-mates into the game. Juric may become isolated up front, but with his neat touch and ability to use his body, the Wanderers could utilise him to maintain possession.
Prediction: Frontale 0-0 Wanderers
A goalless draw would be a fine result for Western Sydney and they have shown their ability to keep clean sheets often in the past month. Popovic can set them up to play on the counter-attack if required and would take another low-scoring affair if possible. They have claimed consecutive 1-0 wins and while another would be a massive result, a draw would be handy.