The Sydney Derby. It's become part of the city's sporting fabric and on Saturday night a fascinating and fiery chapter will unfold at Wanderland. The home side will hope form goes out of the window against their unbeaten cross-town rivals.
Saturday, 29 November 2014
Pirtek Stadium, Sydney
Kick-Off: 7.30pm (Local) (7.30pm AEDST)|
Referee: Peter Green
Western Sydney Wanderers FC: 1.Ante COVIC (gk), 2.Shannon COLE, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY, 5.Brendan HAMILL, 7.Labinot HALITI, 8.Mateo POLJAK, 9.Tomi JURIC, 10.Vitor SABA, 12.Nikita RUKAVYTSYA, 13.Matthew SPIRANOVIC, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 17.Romeo CASTELEN, 18.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 22.Seyi ADELEKE, 23.Jason TRIFIRO, 35.Kearyn BACCUS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 22.Seyi ADELEKE, 23.Jason TRIFIRO, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO (all promoted)
Outs: 32.Daniel ALESSI (not selected)
Unavailable: 11.Brendon SANTALAB (shoulder – indefinite), 34.Golgol MEBRAHTU (knee – indefinite)
Sydney FC: 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Sebastian RYALL, 3.Sasa OGNENOVSKI, 4.Pedj BOJIC, 5.Matt JURMAN, 6.Nikola PETKOVIC, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 11.Bernie IBINI, 13.Christopher NAUMOFF, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 16.Alex GERSBACH, 17.Terry ANTONIS, 18.Peter TRIANTIS, 19.Nick CARLE, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 21.Mark JANKO, 22.Ali ABBAS, 23. Rhyan GRANT
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 3.Sasa OGNENOVSKI (returns from injury), 5. Matt JURMAN (promoted), 18. Peter TRIANTIS (promoted), 19. Nick CARLE (promoted)
Outs: 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC (suspended – 1 week), 25.Aaron CALVER (return to NYL)
Unavailable: 7.Corey GAMEIRO (knee – indefinite)
TV - Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand)
Radio - 702 ABC Sydney & ABC Local Radio NSW, Grandstand Digital, Grandstand Online / ABC Radio Mobile phone app
After squandering a two-goal lead to lose the first derby 3-2 this season, the Wanderers would love nothing more than to kick-start their campaign in front of their home fans by knocking off Sydney. Sky Blues boss Graham Arnold ensured a fiery clash by revealing he believes the Wanderers should move their home derby to ANZ Stadium as their Parramatta base is too small.
Left-back Seyi Adeleke returns to the Wanderers squad from an ankle problem and is a strong chance to come straight back into the starting side. After starting the last two matches on the bench, Tony Popovic might throw ex-Sydney FC attacker Mark Bridge into the line-up as his side look for more goals.
The Sky Blues are without Milos Dimitrijevic through suspension with Peter Triantis the favourite to take his place, although Ali Abbas could also shift in-field to that role. Sasa Ognenovski has also been named to return from injury into the heart of the defence in a huge boost for the visitors.
OPTA DATA STATS
-The Sky Blues are enjoying their best run of form since going nine Hyundai A-League games unbeaten (W4 D5) between Jan 3rd 2011 – Oct 8th 2011.
-Both teams netted in each of the last two fixtures between the sides, both won by Sydney, but this occurred just once in the first five Sydney derbies.
-Just nine goals have been scored in those six Hyundai A-League games, with both teams netting just twice.
-Sydney has conceded just one goal in three away Hyundai A-League games this season.
ROUTE TO GOAL
It’s hard to believe the Wanderers have managed just five goals in their opening six games. When the likes of Mark Bridge and Labinot Haliti can’t get into the starting side it’s a sure sign they have plenty of firepower. Tomi Juric, Romeo Castelen, Nikita Rukavytsya and Saba have the potential to tear the league apart and are sure to ask plenty of questions of Sydney’s defence. At the other end Marc Janko is in good nick after a brace last weekend and will be hard for Nikolai Topor-Stanley and Matthew Spiranovic to contain.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Terry Antonis. The Sky Blues midfielder had reason to celebrate this week, turning 21 on Wednesday. He’ll have a huge task on his hands on Saturday night without his partner-in-crime Dimitrijevic alongside him. How Antonis can pick up the slack against La Rocca and Poljak could go a long way to determining the outcome in this one.
The Wanderers are on their worst-ever run of form in the Hyundai A-League, without a win in their last seven matches dating back to last season’s grand final. They have managed two draws from their last two matches though and have shown glimpses their best may be around the corner. At the other end of the spectrum, Sydney FC’s 2-1 win over Melbourne City FC made it seven games unbeaten for the campaign, their best ever-start to season. They also won the opening derby of the year back in round two 3-2 at Allianz Stadium.
DID YOU KNOW?
Just four goals have been scored in three derbies hosted by WSW, with each side notching one 1-0 victory apiece as well as a 1-1 draw.
Western Sydney Wanderers FC 1-1 Sydney FC
They may be poles apart in terms of form and ladder position but we think there’s not that much between these two sides. The Wanderers must finally be feeling normal again after all their travel and the new players in the squad are looking more and more settled.
But Sydney have proved are far more formidable outfit under Arnold and won’t easily succumb to the pressure of the home side and their fans. It will be an absolutely cracking contest which really could go either way.