A second meeting with Western Sydney Wanderers in the space of five days awaits Canberra United as they begin a week away from the national capital on a road trip that will include a fixture with Central Coast Mariners at Industree Group Stadium on Sunday.

Before the tam make the trip to Gosford, they face the prospect of taking on Western Sydney at their Wanderers Football Park home in a midweek clash that is looming as a ‘must-win’ following the late drama of a 1-1 draw against the Red and Blacks at McKellar Park.

A goal in the 96th minute rescued a point for the visitors after Nickoletta Flannery’s 58th minute strike appeared to have given Njegosh Popovich’s team a much-needed three points. In truth, a draw was probably a fair result, with both teams making presentable cases that they deserved at least a point.

The teams reconvene for the second time this week therefore, in the knowledge that a few tweaks could make the difference either way, and Canberra will be confident that they can turn one into three against their local rivals.

This confidence will stem partly from the fact that United has an enviable record when making the trip up the Hume Highway to Western Sydney.

In seven previous visits to tackle Western Sydney on their own patch, United has walked away with maximum points on a trio of occasions, and earned three draws as well, only seeing their colours downed once, a 0-1 loss back in January 2017.

Indeed, prior to a 1-1 draw in the corresponding fixture last season, Canberra had blitzed the Wanderers in a 3-0 hammering, one of three victories in succession that Canberra enjoyed. In fact, you have to go back to December 2019 for the last Wanderers win, a 0-4 success for Western.

With just four matches remaining post-this encounter, points are desperately required if Canberra are to keep alive their slim hopes of breaking into the top six. Mathematically, it is still possible, but a maximum return from this rearranged Round 5 league match are a bare minimum.


Liberty A-League Round 5 (re-arranged match)

Wednesday 13 March 2024

Western Sydney Wanderers v Canberra United

(Wanderers Football Park, 19:00)

Live on Paramount+ and 10Play