14/04/2024

Western Sydney Wanderers fans supporting their team (Photo: Western Sydney Wanderers/Twitter; Design: Will Cuckson)

The Western Sydney Wanderers will be looking to make a finals push this A-League Men season, as a host of new faces prepare to lead the Red and Black.

Last season:

Tenth (six wins, nine draws, 11 losses)

Last season was another disappointing one for the Wanderers in the A-League Men, as the club sacked former manager Carl Robinson while the team failed to make the finals.

Mark Rudan replaced him at the helm, and was given security with an extended deal until the end of the 2023/24 A-League Men season.

Despite some standout performers, the team failed to turn their season around and finished in tenth position.

The Wanderers failed to win back-to-back matches throughout the entire 26-match season.

The highlight for the Red and Black was their 2-0 home win over cross-town rivals, Sydney FC.

However, with the club’s worst-ever league position finish last season, the Wanderers will look to put it behind them and rebuild this season.

Biggest in:

The biggest in for the Wanderers is new club captain, Marcelo Guedes.

The 35-year-old centre-back will look to lead the team this upcoming A-League Men season at the heart of the defence as the Wanderers look to build from the back.

The former PSV and Lyon player will aim for success with his one-year contract and the club will be hoping he can share some invaluable experience.

With a host of European experience and an eagerness to win amid a new challenge, he could be the perfect profile of a player to lead the Wanderers this season.

Biggest out:

The biggest out for the Wanderers is Keanu Baccus.

The 24-year-old was a stalwart and a big highlight in Western Sydney’s midfield last season, one of few highlights from an overall forgettable campaign.

He wasn’t afraid to put in a tackle to break up the play, and showed plenty of eagerness to help his side win possession.

The Western Sydney-born, Wanderers academy graduate made over 100 appearances for the club before departing for St Mirren FC in Scotland following the end of last season.

His departure leaves a hole in that defensive midfield spot, which a ball-winner will have to come in and plug.

The Wanderers have brought in English-born Australian midfielder Tom Beadling from Barrow in England’s League Two to fill that gap.

The 6’1 midfielder will hope to bring that same tackling intensity to the role as Baccus in his return to Australia.

More A-League Men Season Previews

2022/23 A-League Men Season Preview: Western United

2022/23 A-League Men Season Preview: Wellington Phoenix

2022/23 A-League Men Season Preview: Sydney FC

What to expect:

With the club going through a rebuilding phase, with 19 new signings and 17 outgoings, the Wanderers will be looking to build team chemistry and make their first finals series since the 2016/17 season.

If they can, there will be a few key players which will help them on that journey.

Marcelo will look to sure up the backline and provide a solid defensive base for the Wanderers.

In the midfield, Beadling will look to anchor the midfield with the likes of Oliver Bozanic and Romain Amalfitano alongside him.

Miloš Ninković has joined the Red and Black from cross-town rivals Sydney FC, and will look to bring his experience to the midfield and the playing group.

In attack, the Wanderers have a wealth of options, with new players Brandon Borrello, Kusini Yengi, Sulejman Krpić and Yeni N’Gbakato alongside the returning Ramy Najjarine and Jarrod Carluccio.

With exciting Young Socceroos Alessandro Lopane and Alexander Badolato, the Wanderers will be ready in forward areas this upcoming season.

The team will look to utilise their squad and may employ different formations and tactics this season, utilising either their many attackers or filling the midfield with quality players.

Starting XI

The Inner Sanctum’s predicted starting XI for the Western Sydney Wanderers. (Design: Will Cuckson)

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