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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 13 February 2016
28 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 13 FEBRUARY 2016 SPORT GEORGE STOGIANNOU There will be one less ALeague team competing in the Asian Champions League this year after Adelaide United lost its playoff match 2-1 to visiting Chinese Super League team Shandong Luneng, on Tuesday evening. The visitors scored twice in the first half to gain control of the match, and despite going down to 10 men in the second half, held out against the Reds, who could only score a late goal through Cirio. This week's Round 19 kicked off last night with Brisbane Roar hosting the Jets. Today's action starts in Sydney with what should be a closely fought game. Sydney FC v Perth Glory, Saturday 13 Feb, 5.15 pm, Allianz Stadium Both these sides have everything to play for. It's a must win game for fifth-placed Sydney if it wants to keep its Premiership hopes alive, while seventh-placed Glory, which has won its last three matches, needs to keep winning to stay in reach of the top six. Alex Brosque returns from injury for the Sky Blues and is expected to start with David Carney to strengthen Arnold's attack. Glory skipper Richard Garcia also returns from injury. Perth has the offensive weapons to trouble the home side and will look to the speedy Chris Harold to continue his rich vein of scoring, together with the likes of Diego Castro and Andy Keogh. Melbourne City v Melbourne Victory, Saturday 13 Feb, 7.30 pm, AAMI Park The battle of the Yarra resumes on Saturday evening with both sides neck and neck on 28 points and looking for a win to stay in touch with the top two. City was flying a fortnight ago, but has lost its last two games. Both teams will be strengthened by the inclusion of new or returning players. City welcomes new signing, Socceroo defender Alex Wilkinson, and midfielder Anthony Caceras, who returns from suspension. Victory's attack should benefit from the return from injury of Archie Thompson and from suspension, of Ben Khalfallah. Victory centre back Delpierre is set to play despite an injury scare against the Wanderers last week, and how fit he is could be a key to this match as he tries to rein in the league's leading markman, City's Bruno Fornaroli. Central Coast Mariners v Adelaide United, Sunday 14 Feb, 3.00 pm, Central Coast Stadium Sixth-placed Adelaide United, still smarting from its ACL exit earlier in the week, is favoured to bounce back against the bottom of the table Mari- Page 25 Cannons aim to rebuild competitive team in 2016 Page 26 Ranieri on Greece 9 771321 167062 Fans look forward to a thrilling Melbourne derby DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM ISSN 1321-1676 ners, who were torn apart by the Roar in Brisbane, losing 4-nil last weekend. The Mariners' Luis Garcia is likely to start for the first time in his fourth outing for the club and, along with the Reds' Sanchez, Cirio, Carrusca and Isaias, as well as coach Amor, should exert a strong Spanish influence on the match. The Reds' defence will be without the suspended Iacopo La Rocca and Tarek Elrich but the visitors should have too many weapons not to come away with a result from Gosford. The home team will rely on the creativity of Garcia and winger Fabio Ferreira to open up the Reds' defence. Western Sydney Wanderers v Wellington Phoenix, Sunday 14 Feb, 5.00 pm, Pirtek Stadium Tsatsimas asks fans to behave as ‘law-abiding citizens’ Western Sydney Wanderers chief executive John Tsatsimas has appealed to the ALeague club's fans to show their passion within the law. The club accepted a $50,000 fine from Football Federation Australia (FFA) and a suspended point deduction for bringing the game into disrepute after fans lit flares against the Melbourne Victory (see report on page 25). Tsatsimas told the media he was disappointed for the players and staff at the club, but even more so for "the great and fantastic membership base of 18,000 who have [been] nothing but great for this club". “Show your passion as any other true football fan would. Not as a hooligan.” "I appeal to those who've conducted themselves questionably to comply and behave ... as law-abiding citizens," he said. "Show your passion as any other true football fan would. Not as a hooligan. "We're disappointed and we don't want it happening again," he added. Western Sydney's active fan group, the Red and Black Bloc (RBB), has been the focal point of criticism as one of the loudest groups in the league. A club statement reiterated the Wanderers' stance that their club is not the only one with fan issues but Tsatsimas said he applauded most of the vocal support group. WSW are heavily favoured to stay on top of the ladder after this match, provided some of its fans can resist using flares to celebrate. Popovic's team comes up against a Phoenix side keen to avoid a Valentine's Day massacre. The Phoenix has plunged to ninth place on the ladder without a win in its last nine matches and only one point from its last six games, prompting an apology to the fans from coach Ernie Merrick. Phoenix has a poor away record against the Wanderers, who despite missing its Spanish midfield duo of Dimas (suspension) and Andreu (hamstring), should be too strong at home against a team whose injury-depleted attack relies heavily on Roly Bonevacia to score. Olympiakos, AEK, Atromitos and PAOK in Cup semi-finals Western Sydney Wanderers CEO John Tsatsimas. Olympiakos, AEK, Atromitos and PAOK have advanced to the semifinals of the Greek Cup. On Wednesday Panathinaikos lost 1-nil to Atromitos (the first match was scoreless) and on Thursday PAOK drew nil-all with Panionios and advanced since it snatched a 1-1 draw from Panionios at Nea Smyrni in the first match.
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