“Throw form out the window – it’s a derby” is a common refrain used by players, fans, and journalists alike whenever a clash between two local rivals is coming up in the beautiful game.
In the case of Mark Rudan’s Western Sydney Wanderers and Steve Corica’s Sydney FC, both managers will be hoping to turn around their side’s fortunes with three points on Saturday night at CommBank Stadium.
It’s going to be a wet one, with more rain predicted for Parramatta after an unprecedented spell of wet weather has hit Sydney in the last ten days or so. There’s even the potential for the game to be postponed due to drainage issues, as was last Sunday’s clash between Western Sydney and Wellington Phoenix.
You would think the surface of a not even three-year-old state-of-the-art venue would still be able to hold up under the circumstances, but as mentioned, it has been bloody wet. Let’s wait and see.
For the good guys, it’s zero wins from the past four.
Earlier this week, I had the pleasure of speaking with Mustafa Amini, who told me that despite Sydney’s poor recent form, there’s plenty of belief in the squad. He also pointed out the fact the Sky Blues have created plenty of chances but have been unable to convert their plentiful opportunities in front of goal.
Amini himself could have done better with an excellent chance against Wellington at Leichhardt Oval, and Milos Ninkovic, who’d just levelled the game against Melbourne City last time out, missed an opportunity you’d expect the maestro to put away with his eyes closed.
“I think we’ve been playing good football recently,” said Amini on Sydney’s four-game winless streak.
“We just need to take our chances.
“We’ve got quality in this group and there’s no lack of belief.”
Our cross-town rivals have suffered a similar fate recently, with just one win in their last five games.
They experienced a small bump post the hiring of ex-Sydney FC centre-back Mark Rudan to replace the dismissed Carl Robinson, but since then, it’s been more of the same from Western Sydney, whose lack of finals football in the last four or five years was surely the main reason for CEO John Tsatsimas walking the plank last week.
Despite our tribulations in 2021-22, we can still look down the table and see our little brother struggling as always.
It’s all set up for another installment of the Sydney Derby on Saturday.
Grab your snorkeling gear and head out to CommBank Stadium, or catch the match live on Paramount+ or Channel Ten.