MX23RW : Friday, August 6 04:33:06| >> :600:1704507:1704507:
May 15, 2021 at 5.35am UK at GMHBA Stadium
Western UtdWestern United
Sydney FCSydney FC

Uskok (8'), Sanchez (86')
FT(HT: 0-0)
le Fondre (76' pen.)
McGowan (90+6')

Preview: Western United vs. Sydney FC - prediction, team news, lineups

Sports Mole previews Saturday's Australian A-League clash between Western United and Sydney FC, including predictions, team news and possible lineups.

Defending champions Sydney FC will aim to make it three straight wins when they travel to the GMHBA Stadium to take on Western United on Saturday.

The hosts will be aiming to kick-start their season as they find themselves 10th in the A-League table after a disappointing run of one win in five matches.

Match preview

Sydney FC head coach Steve Corica pictured in December 2020© Reuters

Western United will be looking to get up and running when they return to Geelong on Saturday, after a poor start to the 2020-21 A-League campaign.

Mark Rudan's men have picked up just five points from a possible 15 and are currently seated 10th in the league table with two draws and two defeats.

In a disappointing performance, the hosts blew the lead twice to fall to a 3-2 defeat against Central Coast Mariners last time out.

On the other hand, the visitors continue their push for a third-straight A-League success after an impressive start to the new campaign.

After a 2-1 victory over Wellington in their league opener, the Sky Blues stumbled to a draw against Western Sydney Wanderers before suffering a 2-0 defeat to Central Coast Mariners

However, Steve Corica's men quickly bounced back from the defeat to the league leaders to grab back-to-back victories against Macarthur and Wellington Phoenix.

In the clash against Wellington last time out, a brace from New Zealand international Kosta Barbarouses inspired Sydney to a 2-1 victory which saw them move up to fifth in the league table.
Western United and Sydney have only ever met twice, when both sides shared the spoils with a win each in the two meetings last season.

Two first-half goals from Adam Le Fondre gifted the visitors a 2-0 win in the first fixture, while Rudan's men grabbed a 2-1 victory at the Leichhardt Oval Stadium in the most recent meeting.

This is the fifth time Rudan and Corica will be going head to head in their coaching careers, with the latter having a slight advantage after picking up three victories compared to Rudan's two.

Western United have a decent record on home turf this season as they are unbeaten with one win and two draws, while Sydney have won both of their away games so far.

Western United Australian A-League form: LDWLD

Sydney FC Australian A-League form: WWLDW

Team News

Sydney FC players pictured in November 2020© Reuters

Western United will be boosted by the return of Max Burgess, who is expected to make the starting XI following an extended holiday.

Mark Rudan will still be without the services of midfielder Joshua Risdon, who remains sidelined with a broken tibia, while Seb Pasquali will also miss out through injury.

Sydney, meanwhile, have a relatively long injury list coming into this fixture.

Australian-born midfielder Chris Zuvela is a doubt after picking up an injury last time out, while goalkeeper Adam Pavlesic remains on the sidelines after a heavy knock in the AFC Champions League back in December.

Harry Van der Saag is also on the visitors' injury list with an ankle problem, but full-back Michael Zullo is expected to return to the fold after recovering from a calf injury.

Western United possible starting lineup:
Kurto; Calver, Durante, Vujica; Uskok, Sanchez, Lustica, Imai; Burgess, Diamanti, Berisha

Sydney FC possible starting lineup:
Redmayne; King, Warland, Wilkinson, Grant; Brattan, Baumjohann, Ninkovic, Caceres; Barbarouses, Buhagiar

SM words green background

We say: Western United 1-3 Sydney FC

Western United have failed to get into gear this season, and they face a Sydney side who appear to have found their rhythm.

The defending champions have been faultless away from home and, considering they have a stronger squad, they should grab all three points unscathed.

Top betting tip

Our expert tipster partners at are predicting under 3.5 goals in this match. Click here to find out what else they are predicting for this game and for more of their tried-and-tested football tips.Under 3.5:data

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Friday's key events

· Great Britain's women aim to secure their place on the podium as they face India in the bronze medal match (2.30am)
· Netherlands - silver medallists five years ago - and Argentina battle for the gold medal in the women's final (11am)

· The women's gold medal will be decided as Australia and USA go head to head (3.30am)

· Lauren Price will be looking to add to Team GB's success in the ring when she takes on Nouchka Fontijn of Netherlands in the women's middleweight semi-final (6am)

· Tom Daley already has one Olympic gold to his name in Tokyo, and he begins his bid for second in the men's 10m platform. Teammate Noah Williams is also involved in the preliminary round (7am)

· Jason Kenny's reign as sprint king may be over, but Jack Carlin looked strong in his bid to succeed his compatriot. He takes on Harrie Lavreysen in his sprint semi-final (8.10am), with the final taking place later in the day (10.35am)
· The women's madison makes its Olympic debut at the velodrome as Team GB duo Katie Archibald and Laura Kenny look to add another medal to their collections (9.15am)

· Hosts Japan will look to get themselves on the podium as they face Mexico in the men's bronze medal match (10am)
· The women's champions will be crowned as both Sweden and Canada aim to win Olympic gold for the very first time (1pm)

· The men's 5000m final includes Great Britain's Andrew Butchart, but most eyes will be on Ugandan world record holder Joshua Cheptegei (1pm)
· Team GB's Jodie Williams will hope to get on the podium in the women's 400m final, but defending champ Shaunae Miller-Uibo is favourite for gold while Stephenie Ann McPherson should challenge and Allyson Felix is bidding to become the most decorated female track and field athlete of all time (1.35pm)
· Netherlands' Sifan Hassan takes on leg two of her ambitious attempt at a Tokyo treble in a women's 1500m final which also includes Great Britain's Laura Muir and Faith Kipyegon of Kenya (1.50pm)
· A star-studded women's 4x100m relay final will see a Team GB quartet including Dina Asher-Smith look to upset defending champions USA and favourites Jamaica, who boast Elaine Thompson-Herah as she goes for her third gold of the Games (2.30pm)
· Great Britain and Jamaica will also be going for gold in the men's 4x100m relay final, and their medal hopes have been boosted by USA's failure to qualify (2.50pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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