The Wanderers already have the Premiers' Plate in their possession, but must overcome reigning champions Brisbane Roar on Friday for a chance at the A-League title
|By GOAL AUSTRALIA
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS
Polenz, T-Stanley, Beauchamp, Cole
Poljak, Ono, PerkatisHersi, Kresinger, Bridge
Franjic, Donachie, North, Stefanutto
Halloran, Brattan, LusticaNichols, Berisha, Broich
Having enjoyed a week of hibernation, a refreshed Western Sydney Wanderers side will finally begin assault on the grand finals when they host an in-form Brisbane Roar to the Parramatta Stadium on Friday.
Western Sydney were able to watch proceedings of last weekend's knock-out stages, having wrapped up their maiden Premiers' Plate title with a comprehensive 3-0 victory against the Newcastle Jets on March 29, capping off a remarkable 12-game unbeaten run in the process.
Their week-long sojourn has allowed Western Sydney's medical department to work round the clock to ensure Shinji Ono, Aaron Mooy and Jerome Polenz shake off their respective groin, knee and calf injuries.
The trio failed to take to the pitch during their pivotal clash against the Jets, but they are included in the squad for Friday's mammoth encounter and are expected to recover from their niggles and take their spots in the first XI.
Adam D'Apuzzo [foot], Jerrad Tyson [back], Tahj Minniecon [foot] and Iacopo La Rocca [suspended] will not play any part in Friday's proceedings.
While Western Sydney emerged victorious from their three league encounters against Brisbane this campaign, manager Tony Popovic will be wary of how his side cope against the rigours and pressure of sudden-death football - a relatively new concept for the latest addition of the A-League.
There will be no such worries for Brisbane, however, as Mike Mulvey's side have proven their finals credentials, having claimed back-to-back championships in the past two seasons.
After stuttering their way into the top six, Brisbane are now firing on all cylinders, having dispatched Adelaide United 2-1 last Sunday to notch their third straight win.
They will have to make do without Jack Hingert after the right-back picked up an ankle injury against Adelaide, but talisman Thomas Broich [Achilles] and midfielder Luke Brattan [calf] are poised to start despite failing to complete the 90 minutes against the Reds.
Reigning A-League champions Brisbane will have to find a way to shackle Western Sydney forward Mark Bridge.
Bridge, 27, has carved a name for himself as a player who rises to the biggest occasions. He has already found the back of the net in two A-League grand finals, ensuring Newcaste and Sydney FC took home the biggest accolade in 2008 and 2010 respectively.