Sydney FC face crosstown rivals Western Sydney Wanderers on Saturday at Marconi Stadium in the first Sydney Derby of the 2022/23 Liberty A-League season.
The Sky Blues will look to make it two wins on the bounce in matchweek three of the new campaign after beating Melbourne Victory 2-0 last weekend at Cromer Park – a Kayla Morrison own goal and Madison Haley debut strike proving the difference.
The Wanderers, who have only played once this season, lost 4-2 to the Newcastle Jets last Saturday at Scully Park in Tamworth and are searching for their first win since defeating Brisbane Roar 1-0 in January.
The victory against the Roar would prove to be the only win for the Wanderers last season as they finished ninth with the fewest goals scored in the league – seven all campaign.
Despite a lack of goals, the Wanderers claimed the sixth-best defensive record in 2021/22 – helping the side to a 0-0 draw in the latest Sydney Derby last December.
Sydney FC however are unbeaten in the last five derbies, outscoring their opponents 9-0 in the process – including back-to-back 3-0 wins in 2020.
And although the derby has produced a generally one-way narrative in recent years, the Sky Blues cannot underestimate the fiery nature of the fixture – with the geographical proximity of the clubs leading to many players featuring for both teams…
Defender Angelique Hristodoulou swapped Sydney FC for the Wanderers in October this year after five seasons with the Sky Blues – winning two Liberty A-League Premierships and one Championship under Head Coach Ante Jurić.
The 21-year-old Young Matilda, who made one block and two interceptions last week against Newcastle, began her career at Western Sydney in 2016 and will be hoping to prevent her former Sky Blue teammates on Saturday afternoon.
Similar to Hristodoulou, Sydney FC and Matildas striker Remy Siemsen has also played for the Wanderers – representing the Western Sydney outfit in 2018/19.
The two-time Liberty A-League Golden Boot winner, who recently returned to the Sky Blues after a spell with AIK in Sweden, will be eager to add to her two goals for the harbourside club in the derby – scoring a brace in a 2-0 victory last December.
Providing the assists for those two Siemsen goals was midfielder Mackenzie Hawkesby, another Sydney FC player to have represented the Wanderers.
Hawkesby was part of the Wanderers squad in 2018/19 with Siemsen, moving to the Sky Blues the following season and going on to become one of the best players in the Liberty A-League – scoring five goals and bagging eight assists last campaign.
The 22-year-old won the Sydney FC Women’s Player of the Year and was also named in the Liberty A-League Women’s PFA Team of the Season last campaign – with the attacking midfielder looking to add a second goal against the Wanderers after scoring in a 2-0 win last January.
See Hawkesby and the Sydney FC Women’s team in action during this Saturday’s Sydney Derby as Ante Jurić’s Sky Blues continue their pursuit of a third successive Premiership at Marconi Stadium – kick-off 3:00pm.