The Sky Blues are staring down the barrel of 19 games unbeaten to start the season.
Sydney FC’s assignment this week will be handling the unpredictable Wellington Phoenix as they visit Moore Park on Thursday night.
Sydney are yet to lose through the first 18 rounds of competition with 13 wins and five draws putting them nine points clear in the race to the Premier’s Plate.
Wellington go into this having not won in their last three outings which would be disappointing for their fans considering a month ago they handled Melbourne Victory quite comfortably.
MEAN AND CLEAN
Sydney’s rock solid defence is set to prove a big problem for the Phoenix as it has for almost every team in the competition.
They have conceded just eight goals in 18 games at a ridiculous average of 0.44!
Goalie Danny Vukovic has kept 11 clean sheets during the league this season including last week when his side drew 0-0 with Brisbane at Suncorp Stadium.
Just when the Phoenix were rising they showed themselves to be gay deceivers once more.
After producing back-to-back wins over the Mariners and Victory, the latter by a 3-0 scoreline, it looked as though the boys from across the ditch were ready to make a serious charge at the finals. Alas, we were all mistaken.
Since then they have lost to Brisbane and Western Sydney while they found a way to draw against Adelaide when they had the game shot to bits in the first half.
While finals football is still a big possibility for them they need to tighten up their defence, especially against Sydney who are averaging over two goals a game.
HOW IT PANS OUT
It really depends on how the Phoenix want to play this.
Wellington won’t be afraid of the home crowd advantage for Sydney as they’ve come away with at least a point in their last three fixtures at Allianz.
The fact remains though that Sydney have had their measure in recent times, winning three and drawing twice in their past six encounters.
Leaking six goals against lesser teams than Sydney though in the past three weeks doesn’t augur well for their chances.
Notch down another win for Sydney FC.
Their potent attack across the pitch gives them plenty of scoring options and while Alex Brosque remains their key man with nine for the season, Milos Ninkovic and Bobo have seven apiece while Filip Holosko is just behind in six.
Compare that with Wellington where Roy Krishna (nine) has been their shining light but their next best scorers are Kosta Barbarouses, Gui Finkler and Hamish Watson with two each.
Highlighting just show inconsistent the Phoenix have been during the last two months is the fact Krishna, their main striker, has only scored twice in the past six games.
Graham Arnold’s side have been the standouts all year and it’s going to take something special to knock them off. Their record so far in 2016/17 has been built off the back of making Allianz a fortress and a plus/minus differential of +12 typifies that.
Sydney has conceded just three goals at home this season while Wellington has just one win away from New Zealand for the campaign. We think that pretty much tells the story of how this game will go.
THE TIP: SYDNEY FC
TOTAL GOALS OVER/UNDER 2.5: OVER 2.5
1st GOALSCORER: ALEX BROSQUE – he has only scored twice in the past six weeks so is due to add to his tally