Wanderers will need to lift

WESTERN Sydney Wanderers return home on Saturday to host the hapless Melbourne Heart in round nine of the A-League.

Their coach Tony Popovic will be after a much better performance than the one on Sunday, when the Wanderers were lucky to return from New Zealand with one competition point.

The club's 0-0 draw with Wellington Phoenix followed the 3-1 drubbing at the hands of Brisbane the week before.

Wanderers, still second on the table, may not be as desperate as bottom-placed Heart, but they will be keen to restart their campaign after a couple of below-par performances away from home.

At least this Saturday night at Parramatta Stadium they will be guaranteed the usual vocal support from their boisterous red and black clad fans who are once again expected to pack the ground. The Wanderers have some interesting challenges ahead during the festive season, with a trip to Newcastle to take on the Jets on Saturday, December 14.

On Monday, December 23 the Western Sydney boys will be at Parramatta Stadium for another grand final rematch with the Central Coast Mariners.

And their round 12 clash against Wellington Phoenix will also be at home on New Year's Day. But first things first.

On Saturday night the Wanderers focus will almost certainly be on a good game against Heart to secure their first three points in three weeks.

The game is scheduled to start at 5.30pm.

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