Western Sydney Wanderers host biggest A-League match of the year

PARRAMATTA will be the centre of the Australian soccer universe this Friday night when the Wanderers host A-League pacesetters Brisbane Roar.

Pirtek Stadium, or Wanderland, as some fans of the western suburbs franchise prefer to call it, will be bursting at the seams when the league leaders take on second-placed Wanderers.

And the Parramatta city centre will be a sea of red and black when the Wanderers fans make their traditional walk to Pirtek Stadium on Friday evening.

The game is so big broadcaster SBS will screen it on two channels.

While seven points separate the two teams with 10 rounds to go, this match could easily decide who wins the Premier's Plate in 2014, an honour that went the Wanderers' way in their maiden season last year.

But Brisbane downed the Wanderers 3-1 not that long ago and will go into the match as warm favourites.

That won't worry Tony Popovic's men who have been in some decent form of late despite their 2-2 draw last start against the Newcastle Jets on Saturday night. They were a little unlucky to concede a goal in injury time but the Jets, a very physical side, did put in a wholehearted performance in front of their home fans. Popovic said after the match he was happy with how his team played: "We were particularly good in the first 25 to 30 minutes."

But it's one thing playing a desperate team like the Jets and quite another a juggernaut like the Queenslanders. One thing's for sure — the Wanderers will win the battle in the stands inside Pirtek Stadium and their fans will just be hoping Popovic's men can do the rest on the field.

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