Round two of the Hyundai A-League is highlighted by the seventh edition of the Sydney Derby. Both teams will be keen to bounce back after dropping points in round one. The two teams should be welcoming back their international stars and will want maximum points after drawing and losing respectively.
Sydney FC had to fight to earn the point at home against Melbourne City. Despite struggling in the first half, the Sky Blues went ahead through a well-placed Corey Gameiro shot. However they couldn’t hold on as Melbourne City’s guest marquee man David Villa capitalised on a sluggish defense to equalize.
However, round 2 promises to be a different story for the Moore Park based club. Marc Janko will replace youngster George Blackwood whilst Bernie Ibini, Shane Smeltz and possibly most importantly Ali Abbas should all be available to face their cross city rivals. This will have Graeme Arnold confident that his side can secure three points which could very well kick start the campaign.
Things did not go too plan for the Wanderers in round 1 against Melbourne Victory. A combination of an inexperienced back four combination and the Victory starting all guns blazing saw the Wanderers 3-0 down before one-third of the match was played. From then on, it was very much about damage limitation and despite Mark Bridge scoring just before the break, realistically they never had a chance. Much like their rivals, though, they do welcome back some key additions such as captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley and striker Tomi Juric. Popovic will be hoping that his captain in particular can return things too normality and add stability to his back line.
Eyes on…: Alex Brosque is going to be a key player for the home side. The Sky Blue’s captain made a big difference in the second half against Melbourne City. The key difference for him in the second half was that he was positive in transition. On the other side, Topor-Stanley is key for the Wanderer’s defence who leaked goals in round one.
Head to Head:
Played: 6. Sydney Fc: 2. Draw: 1. Western Sydney Wanderers: 3
08/03/2014 at Allianz Stadium. Sydney FC 3-1 Western Sydney Wanderers
Sydney Fc: DWWLD Western Sydney Wanderers: DWWLL
Sydney FC (probable): Janjetovic; Ryall, Ognenovski, Petkovic, Jurman; Triantis, Antonis, Dimitrijevic; Gameiro, Janko, Brosque.
Western Sydney Wanderers (probable): Covic; Mullen, Hamill, Topor-Stanley, Cole; Poljak, La Rocca; Juric, Bridge, Haliti; Santalab.
Sydney FC: Rhyan Grant (Knee – indefinite).
Western Sydney Wanderers: Matthew Spiranovic (Ankle – 2 weeks), Gol Gol Mebrahtu (Knee – indefinite), Rukavytsya (pending transfer)
Prediction: It’s often said form goes out the window when it comes to a derby. So with that in mind I am going for a narrow Sydney FC win 2-1
- Sydney FC have only been held scoreless on 4 occasions since 2009. One of those was against their cross city rivals.
- Western Sydney Wanderers have never drawn in their four games at Alianz Stadium.