German defender Patrick Ziegler will make his first league game for Western Sydney as they bid to end a two-game losing skid against Central Coast on Friday.
Ziegler played two FFA Cup games for Markus Babbel's side after arriving from Kaiserslautern, but has been on the sidelines for almost two months with a knee injury.
Babbel will bring him back against the Mariners after opting not to give the 28-year-old a run out in the club's National Youth League game last week due to the match being on a synthetic pitch.
Ziegler is short of match minutes but Western Sydney need him back after conceding six goals over their last two matches, in defeats to Newcastle Jets and Melbourne Victory.
With Babbel having described the game against defending champions Victory as "men against boys", the experience of Ziegler who played 59 games for Kaiserslautern should bring more solidity to the centre of their defence.
It's not certain he will play the full 90 minutes against the A-League's bottom side but he is expected to start.
Babbel said: "He's a top class defender, he will help us a lot because he brings out [the best] for the players around him, he is like an anchor.
"I hope he can show his performance; I know how difficult it is but we need him now and he's a top defender. I believe he will show his performance and he will help the team win three points."
Though the coach was critical of his team's showing against Victory, he felt they had done well in their previous outing against the Jets and had been unlucky to lose.
"We played a fantastic style of football and we did many, many things right, more things than wrong and we lost this game," said Babbel. "This can happen; the mentality and how we played was there."
Western Sydney are 12/1 to win the Grand Final.
Wanderers are 3/5 to win their next game against Central Coast, who are 17/4 with the draw 10/3.
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