Tony Popovic and Shinji Ono preview the AFC Champions League match against Kawasaki Frontale.
In the heat of the Wanderers busy March period the men in Red and Black face one of Japan-s finest, Kawasaki Frontale, in tomorrow night-s AFC Champions League match at Parramatta Stadium.
In what will be Western Sydney-s fourth game in just 12 days, ACL Match Day 3 pits the Wanderers against a Kawasaki outfit that finished third in the J-league last season, a mere three points off the pace of Champions Sanfrecce Hiroshima.
The Wanderers last foray into the competition in Parramatta against Ulsan Hyundai saw a superb opening period from the Red and Black with Brendon Santalab scoring one of the competitions quickest goals in just 43 seconds.
Despite learning the hard way what it takes to win the competition from the 2012 ACL Champions, Western Sydney were still dominant for long periods of the match showcasing why they-re among Asia-s best.
Frontale-s opening ACL fixture pitted them against Chinese Super League side Guizhou Renhe, running out eventual 1-0 winners thanks to their 25 year-old Brazilian Renatinho.
The Wanderers men to watch for this exciting encounter will be Western Sydney product Tomi Juric who has proven pivotal in many of Western Sydney-s A-League fixtures this season. While if given the nod to play again following their superb debut performances in the 1-nil win against Guizhou Renhe, recent signings Antony Golec and Daniel Mullen will be keen to impress in their first match in front of the famed Wanderland crowd.
Kawasaki on the other hand will be pinning their goal aspirations on 31-year-old Yoshito Okubo. The number 13 proved lethal out front last season notching 26 goals in 33 appearances.
Although the heavy schedule and travel could be a challenge, Western Sydney will aim to use the lengthy trips to their advantage, like Adelaide who progressed to the final in 2008, and transform Parramatta Stadium into a heaving mass of red and black.
While Kawasaki have their own challenges clocking around 15 hours of flights, which could prove taxing on the players over a short period of time, the side also come off a crushing extra-time defeat in the J-League over the weekend and a 2-0 away loss to Ulsan Hyundai in the opposite Group H fixture in Korea on ACL Match Day 2.
Tickets for the match are on sale now through Ticketmaster (www.ticketmaster.com.au) and at the gates from 6pm on Wednesday 19 March. Coverage for the match will be on Fox Sports 2 and Fox Sports 2 HD.