After a positive start to the season for both sides, the Western Sydney Wanderers will play host to the Brisbane Roar this weekend in round two.

The Wanderers picked up from where they left off continuing last season’s solid away form to claim a point and fifth place on the competition ladder following a 2-2 stalemate with hosts, Adelaide United.

Meanwhile, Brisbane Roar embraced their underdog status to trump last year’s grand final winners, gaining second position on the ladder and all three points as they ran out 2-1 winners against Canberra United in the first of this seasons televised curtain raisers. 

As anticipated, the Red & Black made the most of the early inclusion of star international, Keelin Winters whose header from the back post found the net in just the fourth minute of play.

Carrying on from a standout week amongst her inclusion in a China bound Matildas side, captain Caitlin Cooper scored her first ever goal for the Wanderers to stretch the lead to 2 by the seventeenth minute.

Adelaide got one back just before the break before Sarah Killion completed her brace and squared the match to give both teams a point each.

The Roar began their season at home in similar fashion to the Wanderers with Matildas star Tameka Butt striking early (‘9), turning her marker beautifully in the box before beating Lydia Williams from close range.

It wasn’t long before the lead was doubled, the second coming just two minutes later (11') from a Ruth Blackburn’s flick on a free kick was uncharacteristically fumbled in by Williams.

The visitors managed to pull one back with a neat finish from Michelle Heyman (39') but it wasn’t enough, the Roar composing themselves to take a confidence boosting 3 points.

Timing is everything in this week’s fixture with the first meeting of these two sides scheduled during the Matildas' trip to China in preparation for Olympic qualifiers.

For the Roar that means going without paramount contributors in Katrina Gorry, Clare Polkinghorne and Tameka Butt. For the first time in two years, the home side will be without captain Caitlin Cooper who returns to national team duties after a two year absence.

The Wanderers will fill the void in the back four by drawing on the defensive expertise of internationals Carmelina Moscato and Kendall Johnson who combined well with Ellie Carpenter against the Lady Reds.

Even with the larger of the adjustment headaches, Brisbane will travel to Sydney confident they can collect all three points on the back of a big win with players like Gabe Marzano showing good fight throughout the match up with Canberra.

This match will look to be a battle of attack and defence.  Brisbane Roar brings the fire power of Marzano, Emily Gielnik, Amy Chapman and Alisha Foote while the Wanderers brings the experience through Moscato, Johnson and Winters (as a defensive midfielder).

Last season’s contests between these two sides favours the away team with Western Sydney recording a 1-2 win in Brisbane and the Roar a 1-3 win in Western Sydney. Either way, all things considered it’s sure prove be an entertaining encounter.

Western Sydney Wanderers v Brisbane Roar

Sunday 25 October 2015

Marconi Stadium, Sydney

Local kick-off: 3pm

Head to Head: Played 6 - 2 wins (WSW) - 4 wins (BRI)

Western Sydney Wanderers squad: Teagan Micah (gk), Carmelina Moscato, Chloe O’Brien, Kendall Johnson, Erica Halloway, Michelle Carney, Elizabeth Grey, Keelin Winters (c), Racheal Soutar, Ellie Carpenter, Eliza Ammendolia, Jada Whyman (gk), Alix Roberts, Tara Pender, Helen Petinos

Ins: Alix Roberts, Tara Pender, Helen Petinos (all promoted)

Outs: Caitlin Cooper (Westfield Matildas duty), Hannah Beard (leg – 1 week), Linda O’Neill (leg – 1 week)

Unavailable: None

Brisbane Roar squad: 1. Haley Kopmeyer (gk), 2. Brooke Goodrich, 3. Amy Chapman, 6. Angela Beard, 7. Gabe Marzano, 8. Ayesha Norrie, 9. Cortnee Vine, 12 Alisha Foote, 14. Summer O'Brien, 15. Ruth Blackburn, 16. Ashley Spina, 17. Emily Gielnik, 18. Maili Forbes, 19. Sofie Persson, 20. Carrie Simpson (gk), 21. Elise Franco

Ins: Brooke Goodrich (return from injury), Cortnee Vine, Sofie Persson (both promoted), Elise Franco (injury replacement)

Outs: Clare Polkinghorne, Katrina Gorry, Tameka Butt (all Westfield Matildas duty)