Must-win already looms for WaiBop

IAN ANDERSON
Last updated 05:00 07/12/2013

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Nothing but points matter today for WaiBop United.

After a promising beginning, WaiBop now sit in sixth spot in the ASB Premiership ahead of their match against Southern United in Cambridge.

Three points are essential against the bottom-placed team in the eight-team league.

The hosts will be hurting after letting victory slip last Sunday away to the teenaged Wanderers SC side after leading 3-1.

While another controversial penalty on a trip north enraged the WaiBop side, they could have taken the result out of the referee's hands with a better second-half display.

The fourth match of the 2013/14 season was the first time WaiBop coach Peter Smith had to make changes to his starting XI and it showed at times.

He's likely to reshuffle his side again today, with defenders Tyler Lissette and Liam Higgins set to come back from injury and sickness respectively, while Marcel Corbera is suspended after being sent off against Wanderers.

Striker Mikhail Bredeveldt has returned to the fold after being stood down last week following his temper tantrum after being subbed during his side's 2-0 loss to Hawke's Bay United at John Kerkhof Park a fortnight ago.

That will give Smith options up front, with George Slefendorfas making his first start off the bench last Sunday. WaiBop have also been able to grab goals from midfielder Maksim Manko, whose tally of three has him sharing the lead in the race for the Golden Boot.

The hosts will want to take advantage of a lack of confidence and form from today's visitors. Without a point from four games, the Southern side (rebranded from Otago United after last season) would equal a Premiership record of 11 consecutive defeats should they succumb to WaiBop.

WaiBop United v Southern United

NFJohn Kerkhof Park, Cambridge, 5pm kickoff

WaiBop Utd: Andy McNeil, Liam Higgins, Aaron Scott, Takahiro Yokota, Tyler Lissette, Masaki Nomoto, Mark Jones, Mikhail Bredeveldt, George Slefendorfas, Milos Nikolic, Jack McNab, Ben Latham, Maksim Manko, Shaydon Young, Raymond How, Alexis Varela, Nik Robson, Danyon Drake, Scott Hilliar, Wade Molony, Tom Probert.

Southern United: Tom Batty, Nick Hindson, Peter Overmire, Matt Joy, Aajay Cunningham, Regan Coldicott, Taylor McCormack, Peter Rae, Jefferson Potrich, Henrique Viana, Morgan Day, Geordie Mansford, Dan Morris, Campbell Higgins, Jacob Schneider, Tom Stevens,  Campbell Attwood.

Referee: Antony Riley

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