PARRAMATTA will be the centre of the Australian soccer universe on Friday night when the Wanderers host A-League pace-setters 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.
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.
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 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 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 that he was happy with how his team played: ‘‘I thought we were particularly good in the first 25-30 minutes,’’ he said.
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. Fans will hope Popovic’s men can do the rest on the field.