HOW THEY LINE UP
Waitakere City (from): Danny Robinson, Louie Caunter, Aaron Scott, Tim Myers, Brian Shelley, Matt Cunneen, David Mulligan, Chad Coombes, George Slefendorfas, Allan Pearce, Roy Krishna, Jake Butler, Sam Matthews, Daniel Morgan, Ryan de Vries, Harshae Raniga.
Waikato FC (from): Matt Upton, Matt Oliver, Josh Greene, Sam Jasper, Eder Franchini, Tyler Lissette, Hone Fowler, Adam Wallis, Jack Hobson-McVeigh, Jesse Edge, Alexi Caroama Varela, Mohamed Awad, Ryan Thomas, Harry Edge, Rory Turner, Sam Margetts.
Aaron Scott's 101st game for Waitakere City may be looked upon enviously by Waikato FC.
The Waikato product, who played for Melville United in this year's Northern League Premier Division under Waikato FC coach Declan Edge, brought up the century mark with the West Aucklander last weekend and now meets a franchise that has previously tried to sign him without success to stiffen their defence.
Scott has stuck with the perennial Premiership title contenders and last season's champions, while Waikato have rarely sniffed the top echelon of the competition.
Sunday at Fred Taylor Park, the visitors would love to have Scott in their ranks after a dual injury blow in last weekend's season-opening 2-0 defeat at home to Hawke's Bay United.
Olympian Adam Thomas is out with a knee injury suffered midway through the first half, while his replacement, David Parkinson, lasted just six minutes before having to limp off with an ankle injury which has sidelined him.
Ironically, Waikato have strengthened their squad by picking up former Waitakere defender Hone Fowler, and he may be pushed into action against his former club, although the return from injury of Tyler Lissette is a boost for Waikato.
Fowler joins Sam Jasper as former New Zealand under-20 players in the Waikato defence, having previously played for Waikato under Edge in 2008.
Waitakere will severely test the visiting defence after opening their campaign with a 3-0 victory over Team Wellington, with Roy Krishna, David Mulligan and Allan Pearce all scoring.
Waikato coped comfortably with Hawke's Bay's limited attacking threats last weekend but conceded two scrappy goals that they will need to eliminate from their game if they want to prosper.
They'll also need to achieve more in front of goal against the likes of Scott and former Hamilton Wanderers goalkeeper Danny Robinson than they did last Sunday.
Waikato looked likely at times going forward against Hawke's Bay but seldom troubled visiting goalkeeper Richard Gillespie, continuing their scoring woes from the previous season.
What's worrying for the visitors is that Waitakere coach Paul Marshall believes his side will get a lot better.
''We will improve dramatically,'' Marshall told the competition's website.
''The team isn't gelling yet and there's a lot more to come. That's the exciting thing for me. We should have scored four or five.''
History is also against the visitors - Waikato FC have lost their last six games against Waitakere.
However, Edge's troops did produce their best display of last season's Premiership when they headed north at gained a 0-0 draw with Auckland City in a match no one fancied them to gain anything from.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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