For Ante Juric and Sydney FC, on Sunday afternoon, the equation could not be simpler. Three points.
In this top of the table clash between the two best teams in the competition, three points for either side will go a long way in securing the Premiers Plate with a gap beginning to open up between them and the rest of the chasing pack.
As it currently stands, Sydney FC are six points adrift of Western United, however they have two games in hand. The 90 minutes that are about to be seen at Netstrata Jubilee should be very entertaining between two of the top sides as they both push for top spot.
Last week, the Sky Blues weren’t at their free-scoring best but have still managed to nab a deserved 1-0 victory over Wellington Phoenix in Auckland, which was required after a slip up against Canberra United before the international break. Prior to that, it was two brilliant performances against Melbourne Victory and Melbourne City which moved Ante Juric’s team back up the table and into the Premiers Plate discussion.
Of concern for Sydney FC fans was the absence of Madison Haley from the squad last weekend, with fellow American Rola Badawiya leading the line instead. Haley had a slight niggle which kept her out of action however, she should be good for this weekend against the current league leaders.
In the previous meeting between the two sides, two first half goals to Western United were enough to give them all three points in what was a very lacklustre performance from Sydney FC who didn’t appear to be at the races. Cortnee Vine was marked out of the game along with Madi Haley and Sydney FC shots at goal were few and far between. This time around on the open space of Jubilee, Vine should have more room to create chances and cause havoc to the United defence.
For Sunday’s visitors, they come into this clash in the best possible fashion, sweeping Newcastle Jets aside in a statement 6-0 victory. The Jets were reduced to ten players early on in the match and this was a deciding factor in the overall outcome with former Sydney FC player Kahli Johnson getting a brace in the biggest win of their short history.
Western United have been very inconsistent this year with big wins against tough opposition before faltering to teams such as Perth Glory, Western Sydney Wanderers and most recently Newcastle Jets before the international break. The real question will be, what Western United will turn up on Sunday afternoon?
For this clash, both teams will be short players due to the AFC U20’s Women’s Asian Cup Qualifiers which are taking place in the Krygyz Repiblic this weekend and next. For Sydney FC, they will be without young star Shay Hollman in the heart of midfield along with future players Jynaya Dos Santos, Tahlia Franco, and Anika Stajcic who are all called up. Western United’s Kahli Johnson is also going to miss the game as she too is selected for the squad for the two matches against Guam and Krygyz Republic.
This will be only the second meeting between these two sides and with so much on the line, it will be one not to miss at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Sunday afternoon.
Sydney FC v Western United
Liberty A-League Round 16
Sunday 5th March 2023
Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah, NSW
Kick Off: 4:00pm AEDT
Gates Open: 3:00pm AEDT
Broadcast Live: Paramount+ & 10Play
Tickets: Click Here