Match Preview: Western Suburbs Derby

ROBBIE BLACK FIGHTS FOR THE BALL AGAINST KNIGHTS - CREDIT: GABRIELE MALUGA

ROBBIE BLACK FIGHTS FOR THE BALL AGAINST KNIGHTS - CREDIT: GABRIELE MALUGA

This Saturday The Mac will play host to one of the most important Western Suburb Derby's in recent memory when UWA take on bitter rivals Western Knights.

UWA's momentum continued with a comfortable 3-1 away win over Canning City last week, with Luke Randazzo marking his return with a well-taken first-half brace.

Focus now switches to an all important derby that has much more than just bragging rights at stake.

Following their exploits in the FFA Cup and State League Cup success, the Knights have endured a dip in form, with the Mosman Park side dropping to 4th after a lengthy period at the top of the table.

The Knights 1-0 loss to Ashfield in Round 16 and subsequent bye round has enabled Michael Janssen's men to capitalise with a series of wins placing uni just three points behind them and six points off the top with a game in hand. 

With a string of key players having been away overseas or out through injury in recent weeks, skipper Josh Marocchi has been full of praise for the attitude and depth of the team.

“I believe our fitness and strength of numbers within the playing group have shone through,” he said.

“Whilst we have had injuries and players away for work and holidays, we have had guys ready to step up and play their role and being a close-knit group has made everyone comfortable.”

Despite their loss to Ashfield, Marocchi believes Knights are a high-quality outfit that will be determined to bounce back.

TIM ROBERTSON EVADES A DEFENDER IN THE DERBY EARLIER THIS SEASON - CREDIT: GABRIELE MALUGA

TIM ROBERTSON EVADES A DEFENDER IN THE DERBY EARLIER THIS SEASON - CREDIT: GABRIELE MALUGA

“The fact they have dropped points and moved from the top of the ladder will only make them more hungry,” the captain said.

“Knights like to control the game and play football and they’re strong when pushing forward, so we will have to be mindful of a number of their players.”

The significance of the tie is certainly not lost on the experienced centre-half, but Marocchi is not letting the occasion and talks of challenging for the title affect the squad.

“I think all players in football dream of being the best and winning titles, it is no different at UWANFC, but we must put all our energy into the job at hand on Saturday,”

"I hope all players share the same ambition and passion and will do all they can to win all remaining games, but we must remain focused ” the captain stated.

Head coach Janssen shared the skippers sentiment, with the German imploring his players to stay level-headed.

"We are aware of the situation on the ladder,  but it still doesn't make any difference to the way we approach the match," he said.

"We have to deliver and to perform on the highest possible level in all parts of the team,"

"We have five equally important games to go and we won't get five points instead of three for a win on Saturday, but it gives us a chance to come closer to our final target. We can definitely build something we can talk about later. But business before pleasure," the coach added.  

In team news, UWA will be at full strength this weekend, as influential Vice-Captain, Conor Devlin, returns after missing the Canning win due to serving a one match ban following one too many yellow cards.

Match Details:

Saturday, 19th August 2017
Round 18: UWA v Western Knights
First Team: 3 PM
Reserves: 1 PM
18's: 11 AM


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