For the first time in more than two years, the Western Sydney Wanderers are back at the top of the A-League ladder as they prepare for a blockbuster showdown against the second-placed Melbourne Victory this Saturday night.
The last time the Wanderers led the league was way back in November 2013, where they stayed on top of the standings for just one week.
Last weekend at Pirtek Stadium the Wanderers took care of the Brisbane Roar 2-1 to record their sixth straight win.
Scoring machine Mitch Nichols got the match winner for the home side with one of the goals of the season in the 79th minute.
Mark Bridge opened the scoring for the Wanderers in the 29th minute before Brisbane’s Jamie Maclaren tied the game before half-time.
But it was Nichols’ sublime strike into the far, top corner that proved the difference and propelled the Wanderers to sole competition leaders after nine rounds.
“We’re doing good… we’re at the top of the table winning games and improving every game, so we are happy but we’re still far from where we want to be,” Wanderers import, Romeo Castelen said.
The former Dutch international said it wasn’t a surprise to the players themselves at where they sit on the A-League ladder.
“We work every day as a group, so it’s not like it’s coming out of the blue for us – we know what we’re building on,” he said.
“To be on top at the end of the season is our main goal.”
Western Sydney will be hoping to consolidate their competition-leading position this Saturday when they take on the second-placed Melbourne Victory at Pirtek Stadium.
Last year’s champions are coming off a surprising 2-0 loss to Wellington last weekend and will be eager to put the Wanderers to the test.
“Melbourne are a good side, they won the championship last year and it’ll be a good test for us to see where we are at,” Castelen said.
The match kicks off at 7.30pm.
Nathan Taylor is the Western Weekender’s award-winning sports journalist. Nathan is also the Weekender’s Deputy Editor.