Sydney Set For Derby Showdown

Picture: Mark Evans/
Mark Bridge goes up against his former team on Saturday night. Image courtesy of Evans
No, Sydney FC is not a one-man team, but it’s fair to say Alessandro Del Piero predicted absence for Saturday night’s clash with Western Sydney will be more keenly felt by the Sky Blues than just about any other individual player in the competition. Del Piero’s calf injury could keep him out for longer than just this contest, and it means the home side will have to find another avenue to goal. Sydney FC scored just twice in three derby clashes last year, and on both occasions it was the Italian finding the back of the net. He did it in the opening encounter in a 1-0 victory before scoring the opener in the 1-1 draw at Parramatta Stadium in March. He was also the catalyst for the 2-0 win at the SFS on opening night against Newcastle.

As an expansion team, Western Sydney picked up just one point from its opening three fixtures, and the Wanderers have started slowly again this time around with a pair of 1-1 draws coming against Central Coast and Wellington. The result last week was particularly disappointing given how poorly Phoenix travels.

Sydney FC will be without Predrag Bojic for at least a week after injuring his calf at Suncorp Stadium. With surety now about Tony Popovic staying in the top job in the western suburbs, things are looking up for the Wanderers with almost a full squad of players to choose from.

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