In-form Sydney FC forward Adam Le Fondre insists his side can knock Melbourne City off their perch and qualify for the Isuzu UTE A-League Grand Final.
The English striker has scored five goals in his last five games and registered the winner in Saturday’s 2-1 elimination-final win over Western Sydney Wanderers.
The 36-year-old’s effort set up a two-legged semi-final encounter with City, with the Sky Blues to host the Melbourne outfit in the first leg at Allianz Stadium on Friday.
City finished 11 points clear of second-placed Central Coast Mariners at the end of the regular season, and many believe the title is theirs to lose.
But Le Fondre says Sydney’s recent form – they are unbeaten in their last six games – gives them belief they can knock the premiers over.
“We’ve had a great duel with them over the last four or five years,” Le Fondre said.
“They are a great attacking threat. They have the premier striker in the league in Jamie Maclaren, who scores a hell of a lot of goals.
“They’ve got a lot of threats on top of that as well, it’s not just him you have to worry about.
“We’re no slouches in attack as well. We’re quietly confident and we can cause problems too.”
Sydney, who have won just five games from 13 at their newly rebuilt home, will travel to Melbourne for the second leg at City’s AAMI Park.
“We don’t fear anyone away or at home,” Le Fondre said. “Our form shows we’re better away this season.
“You have to get a good result at home but I don’t think we fear going away to AAMI Park and trying to get a result there, because we’re perfectly capable of doing that.”
Sky Blues coach Steve Corica was confident English winger Joe Lolley could make a significant contribution against City after the former Nottingham Forest player’s 11-minute cameo against the Wanderers on Saturday.
Lolley has been battling a hamstring injury and was subbed on and off again with the result secured.
“Whether he starts or comes off the bench again next week, we’ll have to wait and see how much training he does,” Corica said.
“But he was brave enough to put his hand up to be on the bench. He did well.”