» Preview: Loaded WaiBOP United v Canterbury United

Tickets Adult $10, Student & Pensioners $5, Children free.
Entry Gate 4, FMG Stadium Waikato.

Loaded WaiBOP United is back at FMG Stadium Waikato this Sunday in a match that could likely define our season. We host second-placed Canterbury United and need a victory to ensure we keep up with the play-off pace over a weekend in which the current top four teams play the bottom four.

What a match this should prove to be!

Head coach Peter Smith said his and his team’s focus is purely on Sunday’s game. “Look, after last Sunday’s defeat at Team Wellington we’ve probably used up any breathing space we may have had left if we plan on making the play-offs, so we can’t look any further ahead than Canterbury,” explained Smith. “We’re at the point of the season where there are pretty much no second chances.

“The result in Wellington was disappointing, coming as it did after a good performance that should have been rewarded with something. But that’s the stage of the season we’re at. It’s all about results now and we learnt last week, if we didn’t know already, that good performances don’t always get what they deserve.”

Smith knows the visitors will provide the stiffest of tests. “We not only have to go out and play well against Canterbury but we also have to find a way to win… which will be much easier said than done against Willy [Gerdsen]’s high flying  side,” said Smith. “I’ve watched Canterbury a number of times this year and I’m impressed with the way Willy has them playing. They’ve recruited well and play a tight brand of football, tied together by some excellent players.

“We’ll have to do most things right on Sunday if we want to win. We need to be clinical when the chances present themselves and pragmatic at the other end so we make it difficult for them to create openings. There’s pressure on us, of course there is, but I’d rather be in this position than a place or two further down the table.”

We have played Canterbury United five times for three away defeats and two home victories. Both of those wins were a bit special, with the first (a 2-1 win in Rotorua) coming in our first ever ASB Premiership match and the second seeing us come from behind three times last season and eventually win 4-3 thanks to a last minute Fergus Neil goal.

Our record v Canterbury United: P: 5, W: 2, D: 0, L: 3, GF: 6, GA: 9.

Not only is this our final game at FMG Stadium Waikato for the season, it is also our penultimate match to be broadcast live on Sky Sport. While we hope you’ll make it along to the game, you can also watch the game live on Sky and follow it on Twitter.

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