Three key Sydney Derby battles

This Saturday the Sky Blues will face the Western Sydney Wanderers, where crucial battles between major players will feature throughout the 90 minutes.  

Luke Brattan vs Josh Brillante

Two men in the centre of the pitch who will be looking to gain the upper hand on the contest will be Luke Brattan and former Sydney FC player Josh Brillante.

Brattan applies pressure to Brandon Borrello

Brillante will face his former club in the red and black for the first-time next weekend. However, the 30-year-old midfielder has had a lacklustre past couple of seasons, with his former clubs managing to only score seven goals in 59 appearances since 2020. However, Brillante has been an instrumental leader, captaining his former side Melbourne Victory to an Australia Cup trophy last year and is closing in on the 300-game milestone across the Isuzu UTE A-League.

Similar to Brillante, Brattan is not known as a flashy goal scorer. Still, he is known as an effective leader, navigating the Sky Blues to an Australia Cup Final victory only two months prior. Experience will be a key feature throughout a game where both teams will want to claim bragging rights and most importantly gain a vital three points. 

Joe Lolley vs Jack Clisby

Joe Lolley tussling with Wanderers players last season

Joe Lolley has been Sydney FC’s stand-out player at the start of the season, scoring the Sky Blues opening two goals in the Izuzu-UTE A-League season against Adelaide last time out and appearing to take his game to another level. The Sydney FC forward has a left foot and isn’t afraid to take a shot outside of the box. In fact, against his rival defender, Jack Clisby, Lolley scored twice against him last season, one of them from outside the box where he drilled the ball into the bottom right corner at Macedonia Park in Perth.

However, Clisby, who scored the opening goal for the Wanderers against the Glory, may restrict Lolley from continuing his early season momentum with Sydney FC. Clisby has played over 200 games in the A-League, is not afraid to be solid in defence, leading the defence line forward, and contrasting that by scoring goals, which has helped fellow goalkeeper Lawrence Thomas record three clean sheets. Clisby has played big games like the Sydney Derby and AFC Champions League Final; however, Joe Lolley’s attacking artistry may challenge the Wanderers defender.

Gabriel Lacerda vs Brandon Borrello

Fabio Gomes and Gabriel Lacerda (right) in the Big Blue

Gabriel Lacerda made 102 appearances as a defender in Brazil’s Serie A from 2020-2023 and has featured in all four of Sydney FC’s opening fixtures, playing 90 minutes consistently. The Sky Blues’ centre-back is speedy and not afraid to become physical in tussles with attackers. He will look to build on his start-of-season form when he faces Brandon Borrello.

The Socceroos forward has also never scored against Sydney FC in his five seasons playing in the A-League; however, Lacerda will still need to keep on his toes as Borrello is known to be a slick finisher, scoring goals with his dangerous right foot from across the pitch and netting against Bangladesh for his country late last week. With Lacerda looking to demonstrate his Brazilian flare alongside the likes of experienced Rhyan Grant, he will have to manage Brandon Borrello if Sydney FC are to win the Derby.

Match Details:

Sydney FC vs Western Sydney Wanderers
Izuzu UTE A-League Round 5
Saturday 25th November 2023
Allianz Stadium, Sydney, NSW
Kick Off: 7:45pm AEDT
Gates Open: 6:15pm AEDT
Broadcast Live: Paramount+ and 10BOLD
Tickets: Click here