Written by CountArach
FFA Cup Round of 16: Sydney FC vs Macarthur FC
Date: Wednesday, 8th December
Kick-off: 7:30 pm
Venue: Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, Kogarah
How to Watch: 10 Play
Last time they met: Sydney FC 0 – Macarthur 1 (La. Rose 17’) at Jubilee Stadium, 27/11/21
Well the first three A-League games have got me convinced that we’re going to be in for a bit of a rough season, or at least not the glittering success and silverware we’ve become used to. One way to remedy that somewhat? Winning the FFA Cup.
This match sees us up against a Macarthur outfit that beat us 1-0 at this same venue just one week ago. Sydney was certainly the worse team in that game, with a languid performance that was further marred by some poor defending, leading to the Macarthur goal. The Newcastle game showed that the defensive frailty has not been fixed in the interim and Sydney is going to have to lift that element of the performance to progress from here.
With the injury list being the way it is, Sydney are most likely going to field a line-up without too many changes. Wood is probably going to get a start, as he did against Olympic, and you can most likely expect to see Niuewenhof come into the line-up. Buhagiar may sub-in for one of Ninkovic or Burgess too, just to ensure that both of their time is managed in this game.
Despite the weaknesses at the back, it isn’t clear what can really be done there at the moment, injuries being what they are. We may see van der Saag come in at right back, but given that he looked below his best against Olympic, Corica may prefer to start Grant and then bring him on later in the game.
Having played on Sunday, it is likely that Macarthur will make some changes to the squad we saw against Mariners. Juric started on the bench, so as long as he’s up to it, I wouldn’t be surprised if he starts against us in the Cup game. We may also see the young Al Hassan Toure start against us, as he has not started any games this season and it would seem like the perfect opportunity to get him some minutes.
Ultimately, Sydney are going to have to put in a much stronger defensive performance than they have so far this season to have a real chance here, particularly when defending on the counter. Sydney have been caught desperately out of position a number of times and defending poorly when having to back-track. For that reason, Rose and Toure are going to be two key threats that will have to be neutralised. Davila, if he plays, will also obviously have a huge say in this match, potentially starting those counter attacks. The big question is if this midfield is up to it because Sydney struggled with that even when Brattan was playing. With Brattan now out, it becomes harder and harder to see just who is capable of neutralising that attacking force.
Sydney FC: 1