Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold believes he’s pinpointed where the Wanderers are vulnerable ahead of Saturday’s Sydney Derby at Pirtek Stadium (kick off 7:30pm).
While the Sky Blues are undefeated in their last five derbies, Arnold believes that history won’t play a part in Saturday’s proceedings, saying the teams’ enter the match in different circumstances to previous occasions.
“It’s no doubt a different scenario to last year,” Arnold said.
“Pretty much Wanderers were having a tough time last year and we were up in the top two top three the whole year and we were looking down on them.
“It’s different this year, they’ve had a fantastic season to date and people think we’ve underachieved but we’re only three points off Western Sydney who people say have had a great season. For that side of it the three points are valuable for this weekend and it puts more emphasis on the result.
You’ve got to respect what the Wanderers are doing and what they’ve done this year but we look mainly at ourselves,” he continued.
“The analysis side of it will be where or how to stop the Wanderers and how we can beat the Wanderers. We’ve seen enough footage this week to see where they’re vulnerable and it’s about executing that on game day.
“Past history is history, it means nothing. The fact that we haven’t lost for the last four or five derbies means nothing. Tomorrow night is a whole new night, a whole new ball game out at their home ground and we have to turn up with our best performance against a very good football team.”
Arnold stressed the importance of taking chances when they come as he heaped praise on youngster George Blackwood who’s led the line in the two previous rounds.
“You look at the stats that matter, we’ve created a lot of chances this year but haven’t scored and it’s about creating the opportunities to score goals,” Arnold said.
“If you do that you know that it [goals] will come. For me the last five weeks we’ve been excellent, we’ve thrown away some points in the last five weeks but our performances have been very good, the front third is getting better and better.
“It doesn’t matter whether its an 18 year old or a 35 year old in Shane Smeltz it’s about when you get that opportunity of scoring a goal,” he continued.
“Young George has done exceptionally well for us, he’s a very very good talent, and the only problem is at times he’s a little hard on himself and it’s no crime to miss a goal.
“The kid has got a lot of talent, he’s brave, he won’t stop getting into goal scoring opportunities and that’s important.
“He knows that when he goes on the field he’s not the only one capable of scoring and he knows that if he doesn’t score he’s got players around him that can score in Ninkovic, Holosko, Naumoff, Matty Simon if he comes on, so therefore we’ve got plenty of options at scoring.”
Sydney FC take on the Western Sydney Wanderers in the second Sydney Derby of the season at Pirtek Stadium on Saturday (kick off 7:30pm). Catch the match live on Fox Sports 4, listen live on ABC Grandstand or follow @SydneyFC on Twitter for updates.