NPL Preview: Marconi v WSW

The Wanderers commence a fiercely difficult end of season run when they travel to Marconi this afternoon.

KICK-OFF: Western Sydney Wanderers v Marconi. 3pm at Marconi Stadium, Bossley Park
A frustrating 1-1 draw with North Shore Mariners last weekend saw the Red & Black lose crucial ground in the club championship standings and slip into second place on the NPL 2 ladder with Sydney FC hitting the front.
The Wanderers are due to play the Sky Blues in Round 26, but the new competition leaders may come close to sealing the premiership beforehand should Trevor Morgan’s side go down to Marconi in this week’s match of the round.
It’s shaping to be a blockbuster encounter between the second-placed Wanderers and the third-placed Stallions, who only find themselves five points off top spot with three weeks remaining.
With their outside premiership tilt still alive – but set to go on the line against the Red & Black, the Wanderers, who have been hampered by key injuries and misfortune in recent weeks, will face one of the biggest challenges of the season.
The Bossley Park-based outfit are likely be reeling from an incredible second-half salvo in last week’s 5-3 defeat of Mounties Wanderers: a match that saw Marconi down 3-0 early in the second half. Unsurprisingly, it was a Mirjan Pavlovic hat trick and two goals from Sean Rooney that inspired the four-time NSL champions to a sensational fight back.
Pavlovic, Rooney and former Newcastle Jets man Marko Jesic have been integral to the cause this campaign with nearly half a century of goals between them: leaving the Wanderers, who boast the best defensive record in the competition, with a huge ninety minutes to display their resolve.