Wanderers better placed for A-League derby

The Wanderers won the last Sydney derby thanks to a stunning Mitchell Duke header.
The Wanderers won the last Sydney derby thanks to a stunning Mitchell Duke header.

Torrential rain put a dampener on the derby three weeks ago but Western Sydney are in a better place to take on their A-League nemesis Sydney FC.

The cross-town rivals will play their rescheduled clash at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium on Friday night - but this time the Wanderers are on a hot streak.

Coming off a 5-2 win over Adelaide last weekend, the Wanderers remain undefeated from their three matches under caretaker coach Jean-Paul de Marigny.

It's been three weeks since the match was rescheduled, giving de Marigny enough time to build cohesion and confidence in the Wanderers who are now knocking on the door of the top 6.

"We've been a really positive mindset and it's a good opportunity for us to make a another statement," de Marigny said.

"We know their strength, we know their weaknesses and it's all about us now taking full advantage of that."

A loss to the Wanderers at Bankwest Stadium early this season is the first and only blemish on the Sky Blues' campaign.

Sydney FC coach Steve Corica maintains the 1-0 loss in round three was one of their better games, spurring the team to remain undefeated for the 13 games since.

Once again, he is wary of the rejuvenated Wanderers after their stunning attacking show against Adelaide last week.

"It feels like they're enjoying their football now and he's encouraging a lot of attacking football now as you can see from their weekend's game, there's a lot of goals and a lot of excitement," Corica said.

"We need to be defensively nice and ready for it but we also want to concentrate on our game with the ball and dominate the game like we did in the first game against them.

"I think we had the majority of the possession. We just need to change the result around for us. We've spoken about it many times but that was one of our best games with the ball, we just didn't score and get the win.

"It was a long time ago that game, we've gone on a very good run since then and we want to keep that run going."

Sky Blues forward Alex Baumjohann will return to the field from suspension against his former team.

STATS THAT MATTER

* Sydney FC suffered a 1-0 defeat in their most recent A-League match against Western Sydney. It was only their second loss from their last 17 encounters with their city rivals in the competition (W10, D5, L2).

* Jean-Paul de Marigny is undefeated from his first three A-League matches as coach of the Wanderers (W2, D1). Only Hayden Foxe in his five-match tenure at the club (W1, D4) has had a longer unbeaten start.

* Wanderers have had an average of 20 shots per game in the A-League since the beginning of 2020, more than any other team in the competition and nearly twice as many as Sydney FC (11).

Australian Associated Press