Wanderers gunning for Victory

Western Sydney Wanderers Mark Bridge.
Western Sydney Wanderers Mark Bridge.

WESTERN Sydney striker Mark Bridge has bristled at suggestions from Melbourne Victory stand-in skipper Leigh Broxham his team hasn't changed much this season.

The Wanderers recruited a stack of new players following a second-last placed finish in 2014/15 after making the grand final the previous season.

There have been instant results, with the red and black in first place after nine rounds.

Already a blockbuster fixture, the clash against the second- placed Victory at Pirtek Stadium should be a thrilling occasion tonight.

And there have been some pre-game fireworks.

"I don't think he's watched us much then. That's his opinion," Bridge said when told of Broxham's comments.

"We'll see if he thinks we've changed (tonight)."

The mood among the Western Sydney players will be bolstered by the return of the club's supporter group, the Red and Black Bloc.

Supporters around the country have ended their collective boycotts of games, after the FFA met with fans and agreed to change its process for banning troublesome spectators.

The Victory is undefeated in its past four A-League games against the Wanderers, outscoring them 12-3.

But Bridge also rejected suggestions his team could struggle against the reigning champions, with that record.

"That's irrelevant. It's totally different. We've had a lot of change in the squad through the off-season," he said.

"That fact doesn't mean anything to us."

Olyroos defender Giancarlo Gallifuoco and teenage forward George Howard have been promoted to an 18-man Victory squad.

Captain Carl Valeri remains sidelined due to illness, while Nick Ansell (foot) and Archie Thompson (knee) are out injured.

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