For the second time this season Allianz Stadium is a sell-out for the A-League Sydney derby between Sydney FC and Western Sydney Wanderers. Over 40,000 fans will watch the two sides battle it out in the final derby of the regular season, with Sydney FC hoping to notch their first win in this fixture this season.
Both sides go into the game on the back of equally disappointing results. Sydney FC lost away to Central Coast Mariners after having put together back to back victories over Perth and Newcastle, while the Wanderers put in an uncharacteristically flat display in defeat at home to the Jets.
For different reasons both sides badly need the win at Allianz Stadium on Saturday. Sydney need to fight off the challenge coming from below in the form of Wellington and Newcastle, and if results go their way over the weekend they could actually return to the top four. The Wanderers need to close the gap to Brisbane in the race for the minor premiership, and also have a fight on their hands for a top two finish with the rapid improvement shown by Adelaide.
Fans from both sides should be in full voice for this occasion after recent troubles. Sydney FC have had well documented issues with The Cove in recent weeks, while the RBB protested in silence at Pirtek Stadium last weekend. Those concerns will be put to one side as bragging rights for the city are up for grabs.
It is a massive night for both clubs, but also for the A-League and the growth of football in this country. Just a few years ago it would have been unthinkable that on the weekend of the opening round of NRL fixtures – including a huge derby between South Sydney Rabbitohs and Sydney Roosters – that the largest crowd at any game in Sydney this week would come from the A-League.
Saturday 8th March, Allianz Stadium Moore Park 19:45
Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers