The Premier’s Plate winners are on target for a record-breaking regular season but they still need to take care of business against Melbourne City.
They are just seven points off the all-time points mark in a season currently held by Brisbane, who actually played more games in that 2010/11 season, and with three games left there is little room for error.
Sydney head into this contest off the back of a 3-nil win over in Perth while City were blown off the park last week against a rampant Western Sydney outfit 3-1.
LIFTING TO ANOTHER LEVEL
Sydney FC has been brutal since suffering their first defeat of the season.
Beaten 1-0 by the Wanderers six weeks ago, Sydney has won their four games since and kept clean sheets in their past three appearances.
The only team that has scored against them during this span is Melbourne City, who they played the week after the Wanderers defeat. Since then they have kept Melbourne Victory, Central Coast and Perth scoreless.
Melbourne City are one of the most attractive teams to look at when they’re on song, however, one of the big concerns for them all season has been the defence.
City has conceded 36 goals at an average of 1.5 per game which is the second-worst record of any of the top six teams and only better than Perth.
Last week they were sorely lacking the presence of Socceroo Tim Cahill as their high-powered attack went missing, which compounded matters as Brendon Santalab tore the defence to pieces to scoring a hat-trick.
Sydney FC’s 3-1 win over City just over a month ago was the first time in five matches they had beaten their opposition.
City traditionally travels well to the harbor city and haven’t lost in their previous four attempts.
The match of the round shapes as an intriguing contest.
Graham Arnold’s side have their sights set on recreating history while City aren’t guaranteed a spot in the top four so they still need to pick up points.
Both sides will benefit from the return of key players from international duty but the fact the game is at Allianz is a major advantage for Sydney FC.
They have been excellent at home in winning eight of their 11 matches with three draws to boot. Averaging nearly two goals a game at Moore Park, they have conceded a mind-boggling 0.36 goals in front of The Cove.
The best defence in the competition has caused problems for City’s attack previously, however, City have been one of the few sides to have Sydney in trouble this season.
If it wasn’t for the sending off of Manny Muscat in their previous encounter the scoreline could’ve been different. The game before that saw Sydney snatch a point after a late penalty while the time before that saw City win the FFA Cup 1-nil.
City will be desperate but at Allianz our money is going to be with Sydney simply because of how they have strangled teams at the ground.
THE MATCH TIP:
SYDNEY FC 1-0
BOBO – has scored in consecutive games against City