The first derby of the season is always a mouth-watering prospect with both teams still figuring themselves out and positions on the ladder not mattering because its East vs West. The Wanderers haven’t won a derby at Allianz in nearly 4 years and will be looking to get that monkey off their back following a poor, draining performance against an improved Mariners outfit last round. Sydney have continued on from last season with 2 league wins and an excellent cup run reaching another FFA cup final. The encounter proves to be a massive test for both sides, with both Sydney and Wanderers looking to kick off their title hopes against their biggest rivals.
Last season was a full set of results for the Wanderers, with a 4-0 embarrassment in round 1, a tough 0-0 draw at Allianz and an emphatic 1-0 win, the first win in over 1000 days, in the last derby of the season, ending Sydney’s unbeaten run.
Key Match up
Alvaro Cejudo vs Milos Ninkovic
Two of the A-Leagues most talented players coming up against each other in one of the biggest games of the year, what more can you ask? Ninkovic has started the season the way he ended the grand final, constantly looking dangerous and creating chances left right and center. Meanwhile newcomer Cejudo has looked a class above in an excellent Wanderers squad, keeping Bridge out of the starting 11 with his touches of class ever present. With the two play makers running at each other it should be an interesting contest to see who can come out on top and become the derby hero.
So far so good for the Wanderers new LB, making intelligent runs down the left flank and constantly cutting out threats in defence. On saturday he comes up against some of the best attacking talent in the league with Ninkovic, Bobo, brosque and co. If Llorente can continue his form and keep out the visitors while still attacking from the back, he could be the man to make the difference for the Red and Black.
Wanderers 1- Sydney 1
Following a poor performance last week, the Wanderers will look to bounce back and get up for the biggest game of the year. Expect early fireworks on Saturday with both sides scoring in a fiery encounter, I can’t see a winner though, leaving both sides content but not happy with the draw.