There exists an old and possibly overused cliché in world football that, more often than not, resurfaces just in time before two local and/or rival clubs collide. The phrase at hand reads that: on derby days, the formbook goes out the window. While in some cases this may be true, come this Saturday night’s (7:30 AEDT) ultimate Sydney derby, it seems that these two clubs’ recent run of results may have a lot to do with the way the night’s proceedings take place.
The Wanderers return to Pirtek Stadium for the first time since their 2-1 defeat to Melbourne Victory back in early January and despite the late loss to Adelaide last weekend, Tony Popovic and co. will be buoyed by their rather improbable victory over Kashima Antlers midweek. While the Asian champions were far from perfect, nor even convincing for that matter, the win in Japan is sure to do a world of good in terms of confidence and morale. But should the combination of jetlag and match fatigue come into effect at the weekend perhaps things may continue to go from bad to worse on the A-League front for the ‘red-and-blacks’.
Meanwhile Sydney FC travel to Parramatta after defeating the Central Coast Mariners 4-2 at Allianz Stadium last weekend. Whilst Graham Arnold may be rather concerned at his side’s supposed defensive frailties, the Sky Blues appear to be in irresistible form as far as attacking goes. The two-time champions have scored 15 goals in their last four league outings and look poised to exploit a Wanderers side who have only kept two clean sheets at home all season. The aforementioned victory against Arnold’s former club keeps the city side unbeaten in the league since a Boxing Day defeat to Adelaide last year.
In the scheme of things, if the Wanderers were to hit their stride at the weekend and take home bragging rights with a win, the competition’s newest club would leapfrog the Jets into 9th place and temporarily reduce their distance from finals football to 10pts. However, should the Harbour City side emerge the victor come full-time then they would move into fourth place; albeit a game ahead of the Phoenix.
With the valuable three points having significant ramifications for either side’s league ambitions there is no doubt that this match will have a winner. Western Sydney cannot afford to drop anymore points amidst their upcoming flurry of fixtures nor can Sydney FC succumb to defeat with the top two places still well and truly in reach. It’s set up to be a highly entertaining match of football between two sides full of detestation for one another. Regardless of the result, Saturday’s sell-out crowd is sure in for a pulsating treat. It’s derby day!
Played: 8. Western Sydney Wanderers: 3. Sydney FC: 3.
Last Meeting: 29/11/2014 at Parramatta Stadium. Western Sydney Wanderers 1-1 Sydney FC
Western Sydney Wanderers: LLWDL Sydney FC: DWWDW
Western Sydney Wanderers: Shannon Cole (shoulder – 1 week), Matthew Spiranovic (suspended – 1 week), Mateo Poljak (suspended – 1 week), Brendon Santalab (shoulder), Golgol Mebrahtu (knee – indefinite)
Sydney FC: Corey Gameiro (knee – indefinite), Ali Abbas (knee – indefinite), Nick Carle (knee – indefinite), Sasa Ognenovski (hip – indefinite)
Western Sydney Wanderers: Covic; Gallaway; Topor-Stanley; Hamill; Golec; La Rocca; Perkatis; Castelen; Takahagi; Rukavytsya; Juric
Sydney FC: Janjetovic; Gersbach; Petkovic; Faty; Grant; Tavares; Dimitrijevic; Ibini-Isei; Antonis; Brosque; Janko
Western Sydney Wanderers 1-2 Sydney FC
Marc Janko, in addition to three assists, has hit the back of the net six times in his last four appearances. With the big Austrian at the peak of his powers, Topor-Stanley and co. are in for a battle.
The Wanderers have not beaten their cross-town rivals since Brendon Santalab’s late goal back in January 11th of 2014. Will Sydney FC add to this drought once more at the weekend?Google+