The Western Sydney Wanderers have a strange knack at getting results when they need them most.
Somehow they’re Asian Champions but last on the A-League ladder. On Wednesday they managed to secure the only Australian win in the ACL qualifying rounds, but just a couple of days before they fell 2-1 against Adelaide Untied.
It’s been a weird couple of months for Wanderers fans. Nothing is really certain for the club.
At least today, they enter derby territory, where spectacle and fan rivalry trump form.
If you had to bluff at the result, Sydney FC would be the natural victors.
The team haven’t lost a match since December, albeit with a couple of draws in the mix too. They managed to claw back from a 3-3 draw with Melbourne Victory to smash through the Central Coast Mariners 4-2 last week.
Coach Graham Arnold says the team must remove all emotion to really have the upper hand in the derby.
“Form goes out the window when it comes to a derby,” he says.
“It’s great for the fans, it’s great for the game, but for us we have to go out there and play our own game, remove all emotion and play to our strengths.”
Arnold says he’ll be expecting to come up against a re-energized squad despite the mid week travel.
Wanderers coach Tony Popovic left five players behind to be able to field a strong team tonight.
Youth player Yianni Perkatis has been promoted alongside Antony Golec, Jaushua Sotirio and Mark Bridge, while Greek Australian goalie Dean Bouzanis is first choice again after he showed himself in the ACL campaign.
Sydney FC will field and almost unchanged squad as Arnold chases a top four position.