Farina Set To Introduce Despotovic

Sydney FC Head Coach Frank Farina has included new striker Ranko Despotovic in his 18-man squad for the clash against Wellington Phoenix at Allianz Stadium this Saturday evening (kick off 5.30pm).

Sydney FC Head Coach Frank Farina has included new striker Ranko Despotovic in his 18-man squad for the clash against Wellington Phoenix at Allianz Stadium this Saturday evening (kick off 5.30pm).

The Serbian has been training with his new Sky Blues team mates all week having arrived in Sydney last weekend.

Ranko played for Japanese club side Urawa Red Diamonds and has also had goal scoring stints in Serbia and Spain. The 6 ft 1 striker is also a Serbian international and has previously featured against the Socceroos in 2011at Etihad Stadium.

“Ranko is in with a chance of featuring in the game,” Farina said.

“We-ll see how he goes in the next couple of days.

“We didn-t bring him here to just sit around so we-ll assess his physical state, but if he looks ok and gets through today and tomorrow there is every chance he will be on the bench.

“It-s about consistency though and at this stage we won-t make many changes to the team that played against the Heart,” he continued.

“Ranko only arrived on Sunday so that travel will still affect him but I hope he will settle in straight away.”

Farina also praised Ali Abbas after his transition to left back and believes that he fits in perfectly with Sydney FC-s style.

“I think Ali can play in that position without any problem," Farina said.

“He-s a go forward player and that-s the way we want to play with our wide men; particularly with our fullbacks. I thought he was outstanding on the weekend.

“He-s filled a number of roles and I think that-s one of the good things about him; his versatility.”

Farina is wary though of what the Phoenix can produce and feels that a repeat of the 7-1 victory in the corresponding fixture last season, in which Alessandro Del Piero scored four goals, is highly unlikely.

“They-re a different side now,” said Farina.

“I think they-re a better side and I think they-ve got a good squad that can hurt you. Jeremy Brockie is a very dangerous player, as is [Paul] Ifill, and [Carlos] Hernandez.

“It-s still early in the season so they-ll be trying to get some points and the majority of the New Zealand players will be looking to prove a point, particularly in the A-League after they missed out on World Cup qualification,” Farina continued.

“But if we can win 80% of our home games then we-ve got a very good chance of making the playoffs and finishing high up on the table.”

BE THERE FOR THE TRANS TASMAN BATTLE: Sydney FC face Wellington Phoenix in a repeat of last season-s 7-1 fixture at Allianz Stadium on Saturday 23rd November. The Sky Blues will be hoping for more of the same and another four goals from Alessandro Del Piero wouldn-t go a miss, so make sure you don-t miss out!! Get your tickets from Ticketek TODAY and make a day of it!!! Kick off at 5.30pm.