Sydney FC will seek to maintain their Hyundai A-League momentum when they commence their AFC Champions League campaign at home to Suwon Bluewings tonight.
The Sky Blues have made Allianz Stadium a fortress throughout their recent domestic success and are intent on challenging for silverware in Asia.
A minor knee operation means Caltex Socceroos defender Matt Jurman won’t make the trip to face his former side, but the K-League side can call on star signing Dejan Damjanovic.
Get to know Seo Jung-won’s men with the key details below.
How did they qualify?
Suwon eased past Vietnamese outfit FLC Thanh Hoa 5-1 in the play-off round to secure a spot in Group H.
They were made to navigate the qualification route after finishing third in Korea Republic’s top flight last term.
What is their history in the AFC Champions League?
Suwon is one of only 12 clubs to have won the competition on multiple occasions, going back-to-back in the then-Asian Club Championship in 2001 and 2002.
They have reached the group stage in four of the last five seasons but only advanced to the knockout rounds in one of those attempts.
However, they did manage four points against Sydney FC on their way to the semi-finals in 2011.
Who are their key players?
The club made waves in the off-season by netting three-time K. League top scorer Dejan Damjanovic on a free transfer from rivals FC Seoul.
The former Montenegro international should enjoy good service from fellow new signing Lim Sang-hyub and captain Yeom Ki-hun.
Yeom, capped 56 times by Korea Republic, was named in the K. League’s team of the season last term and is a creative outlet on the left.
Former Newcastle Jets full-back Lee Ki-je is another fresh face and will be expected to provide balance at the back in Jurman’s absence.
Did you know?
Jurman isn’t the first left-footed Australian defender to represent Suwon.
Eddy Bosnar joined the club in 2012 and memorably scored a thunderous free-kick in his first season.
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