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Beauchamp to return for Wanderers

15 February 2013 05:57

Western Sydney have received a boost with captain Michael Beauchamp set to return from injury against the Melbourne Victory on Saturday.

Beauchamp has missed the Wanderers' past two matches with a groin strain suffered during training.

But after coming through the club's final session on Friday, coach Tony Popovic will throw the 31-year-old straight back into his side for the AAMI Park clash.

And Beauchamp's return is timely with the Wanderers facing a huge challenge against the Victory as they look to keep the pressure on A-League leaders Central Coast.

The competition new boys, who have won five matches in a row, are just four points off top spot heading into the final seven games of the season.

While the pressure and expectation rises with every win, Popovic is confident his players will continue to leap every hurdle starting with the third-placed Victory on Saturday night.

"The players have shown since the second third of the season - we've lost one game and won five in a row - that the pressure of trying to maintain performances and results every week is not affecting them at all," Popovic told reporters on Friday.

"There was no panic when the results weren't there at the start (of the season) because we could see we were competitive and creating opportunities.

"And we believe now that the form we're in, if we perform to our best we give ourselves a chance against anyone and that includes (the Victory)."

Beauchamp, who is likely to replace Italian Iacopo La Rocca in the starting 11, believes the trip to Melbourne will be the biggest test so far in the club's short history.

He said: "It's obviously second playing third and in front of a big crowd down there on a fast pitch, everyone's going to have to be up for it.

"I'm confident that we will be and it's just another great challenge for us as a club."

While the Wanderers will go into the clash at full strength, Victory will be without star Archie Thompson after he strained his hamstring in the loss to Adelaide and the suspended Adama Traore.

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Monday 15 September

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A-League table

# Team MP D P
1 0 +0 0
2 0 +0 0
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7 0 +0 0
8 0 +0 0
9 0 +0 0
10 0 +0 0

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