It is looming as a story about how the west was won as the Western Sydney Wanderers prepare to take on the Hyundai A-League’s newcomers Western United at GMHBA Stadium on Saturday.
The Wanderers will be looking to preserve their unbeaten start to the season when they travel to Geelong to face a fledgling club that has done well so far in their debut season.
Going into the game in second spot on the table, the Wanderers are entitled to favouritism but won’t have it all their own way as United have already shown they can compete with the best with wins over Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory as well as a draw with defending Premiers Perth Glory.
Their only defeat was to Melbourne City, thanks to a late Jamie Maclaren winner.
It is fair to say that while the Wanderers have fashioned three wins, a draw and 10 points from a possible 12 to date, they have yet to hit their straps in terms of the quality of their performances.
Unfortunately for the Red & Black, injuries have not helped with the likes of Radoslaw Majewski, Tarek Elrich, Jordon O’Doherty, Bruce Kamau, Nick Sullivan, Pirmin Schwegler and Matthew Jurman sidelined at various stages.
That has meant Babbel has had to call on a number of Academy players to fill the void with the young guns doing a sterling job, not looking out of place in the intense first team environment.
The Wanderers will be playing their second game away from home this season on Saturday night.
The Red & Black will go in with every confidence of another good performance having beaten Melbourne Victory on their home turf in round two on 18 October.
Following a bye next week, a win against United this Saturday would set up a blockbuster Round 7 clash with current league leaders Melbourne City who have the top spot ahead of the Wanderers only through having scored more goals.
The Mark Rudan coached United, who are in fourth spot, will have plenty of extra incentive to come away with a win against their Western Sydney rivals as it would elevate them to equal top spot.