Men’s Preview: Fierce rivalry re-engages this weekend

Sydney FC will host the historic Sydney derby at Allianz Stadium for Round Five of the Isuzu-UTE A-League. The Sky Blues will go head-to-head with their cross-town rivals Western Sydney Wanderers in this epic showdown of the best rivalry that the A-League has.  

The classic matchup between the Sydney clubs has seen a total of 35 meetings since its inauguration in the 2012/2013 season.

Adam Le Fondre celebrates the victory over Wanderers last time out

The last time Sydney FC and the Western Sydney Wanderers battled it out saw a 2-1 victory in favour of the Sky Blues. Masterclass feats from midfielder Robert Mak and forward Adam Le Fondre led the Sky Blues to a successful triumph that marked their 15th Sydney Derby win and the historic first in the Finals.

Ahead of the classic clash, the Sky Blues will be coming off an impeccable high after they toppled former ladder leaders Adelaide United in a 5-1 showdown. The Sky Blues Round Four rampage against the Reds saw 14 shot attempts in the box up massively from previous weeks. Doubles from both Joe Lolley and Jaiden Kucharski gave them spots on the top goal scorer list, marking the forwards as crucial play makers. With their attacking side starting to form strong field presence, the Sky Blues under the new guidance of Ufuk Talay are looking awfully dangerous in the lead up to this key contest.

However, Sydney FC will be without Max Burgess, Jack Rodwell and Nathan Amanatidis each of whom are recovering from injuries. Despite the Sky Blues ongoing feud with niggling injuries, they have a home game on their side. After winning the last Sydney Derby meeting, Sydney FC will be aiming to do the same and get their first at the re-built Allianz Stadium.

The Western Sydney Wanderers are the current ladder leaders after being undefeated in their last four matches of the 2023/2024 fixture. The efforts of Lachlan Brook and Nicolas Milanovic earned them slots on the current top goal scorer list. However, despite Western Sydney’s early season success, it will be a close call between the sides after 9 derby draws have been conceded.

Last year’s Derby explodes

The last derby meeting in May was an even contest. The Wanderers managed 31 clearances, but Sydney FC secured 18 interceptions and the win of 67 duels. With ball possession sitting at a near 50/50 split, each team pressed the other until the conclusion of the match. It was joyous scenes for Sydney FC in the end who moved onto the Semi Finals, eliminating their rivals at the first hurdle.

A key player match-up to look out for is Joe Lolley v Jack Clisby. Joe Lolley has been Sydney FC’s stand-out player at the start of the season, scoring the Sky Blues opening two goals against Adelaide two weeks ago. Lolley successfully scored against Clisby twice in the last A-League season. However, Clisby, who scored the opening goal for the Wanderers last week, may restrict Lolley from continuing his early season form. The Western Sydney defender has played over 200 games in the A-League and has played in big matches like the Sydney Derby and AFC Champions League Final. Will Lolley’s artistry in attack be enough to overcome Clisby’s tenacious defence?

Joe Lolley will be looking to score in his first Sydney Derby

In what will be one of the most passionate games of the season, football fans won’t be able to keep their eyes away. Who will go home victorious in the 36th Sydney derby matchup?

Match Details

Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers
Isuzu-UTE A-League Round Five
Saturday 25th November 2023
Allianz Stadium, Sydney, NSW
Kick Off: 7:45pm AEDT
Gates Open: 6:15pm AEDT
Broadcast Live: Paramount+ & 10BOLD
Tickets: Click Here