With around 50,000 to turn ANZ into another cauldron of noise and colour, Wanderers fans will demand a response against the imposing Sydney FC juggernaut.
Australia has fallen love with the Sydney Derby’s irresistible theatre.
And the Harbour City once again takes centre-stage this weekend as Red and Black meets Sky Blue in the third local derby of the season.
Another massive crowd will be on hand at Homebush to see which side of Sydney will be celebrating around 9.50pm on Saturday night.
The beauty of the derby is that form really does count for nothing.
Key midfielder Brandon O’Neill is back from suspension but the Wanderers are without one of their own, skipper Dimas Delgado, after he picked up an eighth yellow of the season last weekend.
Ex-Sky Blues Vedran Janjetovic and Terry Antonis are likely to start for the Wanderers adding further spice to an always combustible night.
ROUTE TO GOAL
The Wanderers boss went with Nichols last round in a ‘false nine’ role but surely he’ll go back to Santa, who is the side’s leading scorer with eight for the campaign.
Of course, Argentine playmaker Nico Martinez will again be the go-to man for the home side.
His ability to twist and turn around defenders in tight areas and then open up space for others has been one of the best things about watching the Wanderers in the 2016/17 Season.
Dimas’ suspension means Uruguayan Bruno Pinatares is likely to come into the starting side and he’ll have the tough task of trying to shackle to likes of Brosque and Ninkovic, who do their best work just off the shoulder of striker Bobo.
But perhaps the area the Sky Blues have a big advantage is the impact of their marauding fullbacks Grant and Zullo.
It’s hard to think of any players in the league that have improved as much as these two this season and their ability to overlap, join attacks late and get in behind defences has been a feature of Sydney’s success.
The first goal could be crucial for the home side as well. The Wanderers haven’t lost any of the six matches in which they have opened the scoring.
Saturday, 18 February 2017
Western Sydney Wanderers FC v Sydney FC
ANZ Stadium, Sydney Olympic Park
Kick-Off: 7:50PM (Local) (7:50PM (AEDT))
Referee: Chris Beath
Assistant Referee 1: David Walsh
Assistant Referee 2: Ashley Beecham
Fourth Official: Stephen Lucas
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.45pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: ABC Grandstand, Hawkesbury Radio
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #SydneyDerby
To purchase tickets visit www.wanderland.com.au
Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 1.Jerrad TYSON (gk), 2.Shannon COLE, 3.Jack CLISBY, 5.Brendan HAMILL, 6.Mitch NICHOLS (c), 7.Steven LUSTICA, 10.Nicolás MARTÍNEZ, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 13.Bruno PIÑATARES, 14.Jumpei KUSUKAMI, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 18.Robert CORNTHWAITE, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 22.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 24.Terry ANTONIS, 29.Ryan GRIFFITHS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Shannon COLE (promoted), 7.Steven LUSTICA (promoted), 29.Ryan GRIFFITHS (promoted)
Outs: 8.DIMAS (suspended - one match)
Unavailable: Jacob MELLING (back - indefinite)
Sydney FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Jordy BUIJS, 6.Joshua BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.BOBÔ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Bernie IBINI, 12.Aaron CALVER, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 17.David CARNEY, 18.Matt SIMON, 19.George BLACKWOOD, 20.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 21.Filip HOLOSKO, 23.Rhyan GRANT
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 12.Aaron CALVER (promoted), 13.Brandon O’NEILL (returns from suspension), 19.George BLACKWOOD (promoted)
Outs: 16.George TIMOTHEOU (return to NPL squad)
Unavailable: 22.Seb RYALL (hamstring - indefinite)
This article was originally published at: http://www.a-league.com.au/