With seven rounds remaining and the top six still to play each other again, Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold has set his sights on first place in the Hyundai A-League.
The Sky Blues take on fifth placed Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Saturday, as Arnold labelled each match from here on in a “big game” in determining the final league table.
“They’re all big games now, there will be plenty of twists and turns before the end of the season with all the teams,” Arnold said.
“If you’re in a 10 team competition and there are seven rounds to go, pretty much all the top teams have to play each other still so the top seven teams are battling out for the top six spots.
“For us it’s another game, important game, but it’s no different to any other. I’m still looking at first place, I’m still looking at Wanderers, I’m still looking at Brisbane,” he continued.
“I know Brisbane have got a very difficult draw in front of them and I know the Wanderers have as well as Adelaide and Melbourne City.
“Apart from the Wanderers, we’ve played them three times, we’ve still got our destiny in our own hands and we’ve still got to play them [the top six] all again. We beat them and we’re three points closer.”
Juggling the squad and travel from Japan, Arnold said the players were in good spirits as he confirmed that he’ll likely revert to a similar lineup that contested the Sydney Derby at Allianz Stadium last Saturday.
“No doubt everyone is a little bit tired, but everyone is good,” Arnold said.
“We had a few boys in business class, the boys slept well and I just checked with them as we got off the plane. We’ve got five fresh players travelling to Melbourne so we’ll leave half a dozen behind but overall good.
“I was very happy with the team that played the other week against the Wanderers and the way that we chased, harassed and the great spirit within the team so probably we’ll go pretty much close to that,” he continued.
“Victory are a good side, they showed on Wednesday night their resolve and fight and when you have Besart Berisha in your team it says enough.
“He’s been the standout in the A-League for a number of years and we’ve got to go down there and contain him and their team. They’re Champions for a reason.”
Sydney FC take on Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Saturday night (kick off 7:30pm). Catch the match live on Fox Sports 4, listen live on ABC Grandstand or follow @SydneyFC on Twitter for updates.
Sydney FC welcome Guangzhou Evergrande to Sydney Football Stadium for their first home AFC Champions League match of the group stage on Wednesday 2 March (kick off 8pm AEDT). Get your AFC Champions League Membership today and see the Sky Blues take on the best in Asia at home!