Red & Black Football

Preview: Sydney Derby

The Wanderers return to ANZ stadium for the third and final derby of the Regular season, hosting Sydney FC on Saturday night.
Kicking off at 7.50PM AEDT, the Wanderers will be looking to bounce back after a disappointing 2-0 loss to the Mariners at Spotless last week.

Image thanks to Qaurrie Sports Photopgraphy

Both teams will be playing from contrasting positions on the ladder- with the Wanderers sitting at equal 6th with 21 points, whilst our cross-city rivals are sitting in first spot – 11 points clear of the Victory in 2nd, and without a loss all season.
Whilst form is crucial factor within football – everything becomes irrelevant once a Derby occurs.
However the lingering question mark remains over the Wanderers’ prowess in the final third, as has been the case all season, and the questionable decision to play Mitch Nichols in a False 9 role last week against the Mariners in the 2-0 loss only solidified this.

Image thanks to Qaurrie Sports Photopgraphy

Ryan Griffiths features in the extended squad, and you will expect him to feature at some point within the game in exchange for Santalab.
Sydney on the other hand – have no question marks at all, easily disposing of Wellington 3-1 last week, with midfield maestro Milos Ninkovic pulling the strings in a dominant performance.
Ninkovic leads the pack(tied with Victory’s Rojas) with 9 assists this season.

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)
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)


Neville Cornthwaite Aspropotamitis Clisby
Pinatares   Baccus
Nichols    Antonis Martinez

Bench: J.Tyson (GK), J.Sotirio, R.Griffiths, B.Hamill, J. Kusukami


A minimum of fifty thousand people will be looking to see if the Wanderers can break a 37 month drought against their neighbours, with Sydney FC looking to extend their lead from 2nd place Victory even further.
In their last meeting, which ended in 0-0 draw at Allianz Stadium, the Wanderers proved dominant but were unable to break down the Sydney defence.

Image thanks to Qaurrie Sports Photopgraphy

Dimas faces suspension for the Wanderers after picking up his fifth yellow card against the Mariners, with Bruno Pinatares the likely replacement.
Pinatares has seen himself in and out of the Starting 11 all season, and will face a mighty challenge in having to contain Sydney’s linking play between their midfield and attack – not to mention filling in for the captain.
Dimas has completed 1279 passes from the defensive midfield position – something the Wanderers will miss dearly through their possession-based style of football.

On the other side, Sydney FC see the return of Brandon O’Neill, who will relish being back at ANZ stadium where he scored his first Professional goal in the 4-0 drubbing of the Wanderers in Round 1.

Image thanks to Qaurrie Sports Photopgraphy

Griffiths has been elevated into the starting side and is expected to make his debut in the Derby, where we will likely see him play off the bench with Santalab starting.
Santalab missed the previous derby following a suspension, and will be itching to take his chance in the starting lineup in front of the home faithful, who are yet to see a win at ANZ.
With the struggles of attack aside, much of the chances will be through Martinez, who has grew from game to game with match fitness, and has found himself adjusting to the physicality of the A-League (albeit fouls from the opposition, which is a weekly occurrence)
The Argentinian #10 will be where the chances come from, and expect to see Nico give Sydney FC a lot of difficulty throughout the game as he looks to expose the Sydney defence.

Image thanks to Qaurrie Sports Photopgraphy

Prediction: 1-1
It’s do or die for the Wanderers – a win is needed if Western Sydney are to be in the Grand Final like Popovic has been stating.
Against the undefeated league leaders is going to be a hard ask, but it’s Derby Day, and anything can happen.


By Blake Maiorana

All Photographs – All Rights Reserved | (c) Quarrie Sports Photography

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