For the very first time in their history, Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers will meet in Finals.
Despite playing each other 34 times prior, they have never met in the post-season with their only clash outside of the league happening in the 2018 FFA Cup when Sydney FC ran out 3-0 winners.
This time around, with plenty on the line, both sides will be wanting to earn the scalp over their rivals and progress to the two leg Semi Finals.
Coming into this clash, the Sky Blues couldn’t be in better form. Three wins in a row, two consecutive clean sheets and they are unbeaten in five matches.
Last weekend they hosted the Newcastle Jets at Allianz Stadium and were ultimately too good for the Novocastrians and could’ve had more than just the two. Adam Le Fondre scored in the first half to make it four goals in four games, meanwhile Pat Wood scored the second from the bench will will please Steve Corica.
The goals appear to be coming from many sources with Robert Mak on the scoresheet the week prior and Joe Lolley the week before that. However, Joe Lolley limped off in the final stages of Saturday’s Jets match and many Sydney FC fans will be sweating over his fitness leading into this clash. Robert Mak has been confirmed to return after he missed the last match against Newcastle.
For the Western Sydney Wanderers, despite having one of their best seasons in recent times, they finished level with Sydney FC and Adelaide United on 11 wins, with the Red and Black recording more draws than the Sky Blues and earning three more points overall.
Last weekend, they travelled to Premiers Melbourne City and were pegged back twice after leading 1-0 and 2-1. Marco Tilio scored in the third minute of stoppage time to snatch all three points away from the Western Sydney side and set up the Sydney Derby clash with Wanderers about to face Wellington before that goal went in.
Brandon Borello was back on the scoresheet in the first half but missed a penalty in the second. In the end, the scramble following the penalty was turned home by Nicolas Milanovic, however the Wanderers were unable to hold onto their lead despite hitting the post late in the game and seeing goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas save Andrew Nabbout’s penalty at the other end.
Their home form this season has been something to marvel at having obliterated the Wellington Phoenix a fortnight a go and putting two past Melbourne Victory. They have only lost two matches all season at home, one to Sydney FC, the other to Adelaide United.
While often heralded for their defensive prowess, the Wanderers haven’t kept a clean sheet since the reverse Derby at Allianz Stadium. With the Sydney FC forwards in their current form, this could be of danger to Marko Rudan and his side.
In their previous meeting, Wanderers took a large result away from the home of the Sky Blues with a 4-0 rout, the biggest Sydney Derby defeat for Sydney FC. This time around, with the scores currently 2-1 over the season, Steve Corica’s men will look to flip the script.
If Sydney were to find the net this weekend, it would be their 50th goal against their rivals and they will be looking for their 16th win in the fixture compared to the Wanderers current 10.
Regardless of form, a Sydney Derby often comes down to who wants it more on the night and you know that this will be the case on Saturday.
Strap in, because this is going to be electric.
Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney FC
Isuzu UTE A-League Finals Series
Saturday 6th May 2023
CommBank Stadium, Parramatta, NSW
Kick Off: 7:45pm AEST
Broadcast Live: Paramount+ & 10Bold
Tickets: Click Here