Bragging rights on the line

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The Fray:

Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers – Allianz Stadium, Saturday 26th October, 7.45pm

“The Derby will be even bigger this year!” – Mateo Poljak.

The first Sydney derby of the season will see both teams in desperate need of a win, after embarrassing round 2 results. The match should be close to a sell out, as bragging rights in Australia’s biggest city, are on the line.

The Form:

Sydney FC comes into the derby on the back of a shellacking from Brisbane. Sydney was torn apart by the dynamic Roar offence, that heaped pressure on the away team from the get go. At times Sydney had all their players inside their own half and struggled to release the pressure due to not having a traditional number 9, as an outlet.

The Wanderers last week let a barnstorming start to the game go to waste, as they faded in the second half, to claim a draw at home, against Wellington. Wanderers made several uncharacteristic mistakes as they surrendered possession easily. The injury early on to Aaron Mooy seemed to disrupt the rhythm in attack for the home team. Captain Michael Beauchamp was critical of his team’s inability to take advantage of their good start

“We made them look really good tonight, we have to play good for the whole 90 minutes, not just 25”, he said.

The Fore:

Sydney FC will be looking to get back to winning ways after their loss last week. The positive is that it was so bad they can forget about it and move on. Injured star Del Piero has been named in the squad for the match and should get some minutes in the derby.

The red and black will cover vast areas of Sydney tonight; as the away supporters look to spur on their team to their first win of the season. In the two opening rounds the Wanderers have come back to claim a point, with a never say die attitude; and let a lead slip through sloppy play and complacency. Wanderers forward Tomi Juric will be making sure that his team will be ready for the big derby.

“We have to focus on the big game on Saturday, the game will be huge and we will be looking to win”, he said.

The Fame:

Del Piero is the main man at Sydney FC and nothing provided more evidence of that than last week’s loss. After Del Piero went off injured his teammates were unable to stop the constant pressure of Brisbane’s attacks. Del Piero scored in both Sydney derbies that he started and should he recover from his injury and get on the field he has the class to punish the Wanderers again.

The Wanderers have been inconsistent in their first two games, at times struggling for rhythm, however captain Michael Beauchamp has been a rock at the back. Beauchamp was outstanding in the first game against the Mariners and will be looking to add to his tally, after getting the winner against FC last year at the same venue.

The Finish:

This will be close, do not expect a pretty game, not only do most derbies get physical, but both teams are struggling for form and consistency. Last year the points were shared, as each team won a game, and the third was a draw.

Wanderers 2-1

Alan Mtashar

Alan is a football writer and analyst of the beautiful game. His analysis and views of the game have been utilised on radio as recently as the Youth World Cup. A White Ribbon Australia Ambassador and still manages to kick a ball around when possible.

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