Western Sydney Wanderers will be aiming to consolidate their top-two spot when they take on struggling Perth Glory on Saturday night.
Western Sydney’s bid to become A-League champions will be put to the test over the next two months during the club’s Asian Champions League campaign.
The Wanderers will play 13 games in four countries over the space of 53 days, starting with Saturday’s encounter against Perth Glory at nib Stadium.
Four days after taking on Perth, Western Sydney kick off their ACL campaign when they host Korean club Ulsan Hyundai.
The Wanderers will have to travel to Japan, Korea and China over the next eight weeks in a daunting schedule that will truly test their A-League Championship credentials.
They currently sit second on the table – four points ahead of Adelaide, Melbourne Victory and Central Coast.
Wanderers coach Tony Popovic knows his team’s ACL campaign will be a challenging test, but he has a near full-strength squad.
The team is also fresh after having a 15-day break between games following their 1-1 draw with Brisbane on February 7.
“They won’t get too many days off from now on,” Popovic said.
While the Wanderers are dreaming of big things in the ACL, Perth face a major battle just to make the A-League finals.
With eight games remaining, Glory sit in ninth spot – four points adrift of the top six.
Interim coach Kenny Lowe is confident his team, which drafted in three new players during the January transfer window, will start stringing wins together soon.
“We haven’t been absolutely butchered or played off the park while I’ve been here,” Lowe said.
“We’re travelling well. We just have to have some real quality (play) in the attacking third.
“If we get that to Smeltzy, he’ll definitely finish.”