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Wanderers to show Victory they are on the rise

FEW would argue they're the A-League's big improver, but new team Western Sydney Wanderers plan to show just how far they've come against Melbourne Victory on Tuesday.

The teams last met in November and the Victory triumphed 2-0 away from home, despite playing most of the match with 10 men after Sam Gallagher was shown a red card.

Both teams have hit form since, with their re-match at Parramatta Stadium on Tuesday night a top-four clash.

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic felt his rookie side showed its inexperience in the first meeting but vowed there would be no repeat.

''We've improved a lot since then,'' he said on Monday. ''It was a unique circumstance for us, playing against 10 men so early, and possibly we weren't prepared for something like that … We got punished on that day and we learnt a lot from that match, and since then we've shown a gradual improvement.

''We're hoping tomorrow we can show that out on the pitch.''


With 10 points each from their past five matches, both the fourth-placed Wanderers and third-placed Victory are closing the gap on Central Coast and Adelaide.

While Western Sydney hit its attacking stride in a 6-1 thrashing of Adelaide in its last home match, Ange Postecoglou's Victory is the league's best offensive side.

New Zealand sensation Marco Rojas scored a spectacular double in Melbourne's 3-2 win over Newcastle on Friday. ''He's on fire at the moment,'' Wanderers captain Michael Beauchamp said.

Western Sydney will welcome back Japanese playmaker Shinji Ono, after he was rested in Thursday's 1-1 draw away to Perth.