Western Sydney are confident about throwing the form guide out the window in a do-or-die derby clash against Sydney FC this weekend.
The undefeated Sky Blues sit top of the A-League table and 22 points ahead of their crosstown rivals as they prepare to host the 14th edition of the Sydney derby at Allianz Stadium on Saturday.
Wanderers defender Jonathan Aspropotamitis, however, believes Sunday’s unconvincing win against Central Coast proves Sydney is there for the taking as the Red and Black look to snap a five-game winless streak.
“Obviously they’re in great form,” he said. “High-flying, unbeaten in 14 games and a good win [on Sunday] against the Mariners.
“But we’re confident looking at how the Mariners rattled them. We can take a few things from that implement that in our game plan.
“We’re confident that come Saturday night we can perform and get a result.”
Western Sydney suffered a humiliating 4-0 loss in front of a record crowd when the two sides met in the last derby match in October.
Sydney have gone on to set the benchmark in season 12 of the A-League, with a remarkable 11 wins and three draws from the opening 14 rounds.
Across town, the Wanderers have managed just two wins and sit outside the finals berths in seventh place.
The hosts will be without key midfielder Josh Brillante and centre-half Seb Ryall thanks to suspension and injury respectively.
Western Sydney will be without striker Brendon Santalab who will serve the last of a three-game suspension.
Aspropotamitis believes the intense derby atmosphere can help get the best out of his teammates.
“We know there’s going to be a lot of heat in the game. It’s always a physical tussle whenever we play Sydney FC, no matter where we are on the table.
“The form guide goes out of the window when you play a game like this.
“From our perspective it’s about keeping a clear mind and going into the game fully focused.”
- Sydney FC host Western Sydney Wanderers at Allianz Stadium on Saturday, January 14. Kick off is at 7.50pm.