Wanderers look to build on United victory

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April 20, 2015 13:02:08 UK

Tony Popovic knows his side must defeat Kashima Antlers on Tuesday.

Tony Popovic hopes that, for once, Western Sydney Wanderers can translate a positive A-League performance into Asian Champions League success.

Wanderers are in a straight fight with FC Seoul for the second qualification spot in Group H as they prepare for Tuesday’s final home game against Japanese side Kashima Antlers.

There has been almost no link between Western Sydney’s poor domestic form and their impressive ACL results over the past seven months.

This time, though, they have the chance to build on Saturday’s come-from-behind victory against Adelaide United when they take on Kashima at Pirtek Stadium where they are 2.75 to win.

Popovic saw his side pick up their third A-League win in five weeks as they took advantage of Nigel Boogaard’s sending-off for Adelaide to score twice in 10 minutes and overcome championship-chasing United.

“We’ve never concerned ourselves with what an A-League result can do to our ACL form, I think the players have shown that,” said the Wanderers coach. “But this was not a team that looked bottom; you don’t come back like that against a good team like Adelaide who are fighting for the title.

“It’s clearly evident that we’re a good team and we’ve got to take that into Tuesday.”

The win against the Reds provided Popovic with another boost, as he was able to give Nikita Rukavytsya a 20-minute run as he returned from a hamstring injury.

Nikolai Topor-Stanley will also come into the selection frame for their ACL clash while Matthew Spiranovic and Shannon Cole are also both back in training.

Nothing less than a victory against Kashima, who are bottom of the group, will do on Tuesday as Wanderers have to make sure they pick up more points in their final two matches than FC Seoul.

Popovic said: “It’s a big game, we’re used to big games here, so with our fans behind us we want to get those three points and the players will go in with a real positive mindset.”

Wanderers are 2.20 to win their final A-League match against Perth Glory, who are 3.00 with the draw 3.30.

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