We will get a true indication of Sydney FC’s premiership credentials here when they travel to Suncorp to take on Brisbane on Sunday afternoon.
The Sky Blues remain perfect after six rounds and boast a six-point lead at the top of the table over their nearest rivals Melbourne City. They have been the clear early season standouts.
How they go against a Brisbane side that has been the best home team for the past season and a bit will be one of the interesting questions at the end of 90 minutes.
A win here will see Sydney FC tie the all-time A-league mark for consecutive wins to start the season which is currently held by the Melbourne Victory team of 2006/07.
Their record of six wins from as many starts has been built of sublime attack (2.83 goals per game) and a very stingy defence which is conceding a measly .33 goals on average.
HOME GROUND ADVANTAGE
John Aloisi’s side captured the most points at home of any team last season and also boasted the best For and Against.
That record has continued into 2016/17 as Brisbane has two wins and a draw from their three games at Suncorp so far. Their only ‘blemish’ was an opening round draw against the Victory.
The Queenslanders have had the wood on their opponents in recent times, winning two and drawing one of the last four outings between the sides.
Sydney’s last win against Brisbane was at Allianz in a thrilling 5-4 result in March last year while their last win in Brisbane was a little over two years ago.
HOW IT PANS OUT
Sydney are yet to concede a goal away from home and are a perfect three-from-three on the road so far. They have found the net on seven occasions during those wins where they have dispatched the Wanderers, Phoenix and Jets.
This is undoubtedly harder but this Sky Blues outfit showed what they were made of when coming from 1-0 down to knock off the Victory 2-1 a fortnight ago.
Taking your chances when they come is what separates the good teams from the rest and Graham Arnold’s side have been doing that, hence their position on the table.
Their attacking threat isn’t one-dimensional either which has proven to be a tough assignment for rival coaches to contain. No less than six players have registered goals with Ninkovic and Brosque leading the way with four apiece.
Brisbane undoubtedly play far better at home and that puts them in with a great chance of being the first team to take points off Sydney this season.
With Brett Holman off the mark last week (his first goal in Australian club football in 14 years), maybe that will spurn him and the rest of his teammates to trouble Danny Vukovic in the Sydney goal.
The one big concern around them, however, is their lack of goals so far this season – they have averaged just one per match. In contrast, Sydney’s 17 goals have been the highest any A-league side has registered through six rounds in the competition’s history.
TOTAL GOALS OVER/UNDER 2.5:
Go the Unders as both teams are very good defensively