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Australian Football: New-look Glory set for Wanderers test

Week one of the new A-League campaign continues on Sunday with Western Sydney Wanderers entertaining Perth Glory, while Wellington Phoenix are at home against Adelaide United.

On Saturday we had a thriller in the Big Blue as Melbourne Victory edged out Sydney FC 3-2 at the Allianz Stadium, while Brisbane Roar also fought out a goalless draw with Macarthur FC at Suncorp Stadium.

There should have been a third game on Saturday but the derby clash between Central Coast Mariners and Newcastle Jets was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Kick-off was delayed by 30 minutes but with huge puddles on the pitch and lightning in the Gosford area the decision was soon made to call the game off.

There should be no such issues on Sunday and we have two games to look forward with plenty on the line despite it being just the first game of the season.

The pressure to perform is always on at Western Sydney and they need to get off to a strong start as they look to return to finals.

Adelaide United could be a dark horse for the premiership and games like the one against Wellington are ones they really need to be winning.

Two games to wrap up the opening weekend of the A-League, so let’s take a closer look at all four teams involved.

What: Western Sydney Wanderers v Perth Glory
Where: CommBank Stadium, Sydney
When: 14:00 (AEST) Sunday 9th October 2022
How to watch: Paramount+, 10 Bold

Western Sydney Wanderers have had the edge over Perth Glory in recent seasons and they will be fancying their chances again on Sunday afternoon.

Mark Rudan has brought in a host of new players during the off-season, including Milos Ninkovic from city rivals Sydney FC.

They have had some good results in pre-season and now need to get the new season off to a strong start. A place in the top six will again be the minimum requirement and the pressure will be on Rudan and the players to deliver.

Glory had a season to forget last year and ended up picking up the wooden spoon. Their away record was equally shocking as they lost seven out of the last nine games on the road.

However this now a completely different team with 12 players leaving the club and 14 arriving since the end of last season.

So it is hard to predict how they will go this season. It is also tough to guess how they will go on Sunday, but it is fair to say they will need some time to gel.

They do not have too much time though as a slow start can put you on the back foot straightaway and put the top six out of reach.

Glory also have a new coach in the form of Ruben Zadkovich. He did takeover in tough circumstances last season on an interim basis. But he has since signed a long-term deal and this is now his team.

What: Wellington Phoenix v Adelaide United
Where: SKY Stadium, Wellington
When: 12:00 (AEST) Sunday 9th October 2022
How to watch: Paramount+

Wellington have had a tough couple of seasons after being forced to relocate to Sydney for the duration of the A-League campaign.

However they are now back playing their home games in Wellington this season and that gives them hope of being able to build on last season’s sixth-placed finish.

The Phoenix have also brought in some exciting signings, some of which will make their first A-League starts against Adelaide.

Former Wolfsburg striker Oskar Zawada is one of them, while 25-year-old Brazilian attacking midfielder Yan Sasse is another.

The Nix have also added experienced A-League campaigners Kosta Barbarouses and Steven Ugarkovic to their ranks.

Adelaide have made finals in four of the last five seasons and went all the way to the semi-finals last season before losing to Melbourne City.

They are expected to be there once again this season under the expert leadership of coach Carl Veart.

Leaking goals has been an issue in the past but Veart has moved to rectify that this season with the additions of Harry Van der Saag and Ben Warland from Sydney FC.

And in the form of former Socceroos ace Craig Goodwin they have a forward who knows where the back of the net is. So all things considered they are set for another strong season and will be looking to come flying out of the traps in Wellington.

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