Fortunes have changed rapidly for Sydney FC after being supposedly in crisis just two weeks ago. Two consectuvie wins now finds them in fifth spot on the Hyundai A-League ladder, and with three of their next four games at home the Sky Blues have a chance to set firm foundations for a run to the finals.
On Saturday they entertain the winless Wellington Phoenix, whose morale will hardly have been lifted by the All Whites’ heavy losses to Mexico in the 2014 World Cup playoffs this week. The Phoenix will also have very unhappy memories from their last visit to Allianz Stadium in January when they were on the receiving end of a 7-1 thrashing. Sydney’s upturn in form has coincidinded with the return of Alessandro Del Piero, and Wellington had no answer to the Italian legend’s skills last year as he put away four of the seven goals.
Sydney will again be without central defender Tiago Calvano, who serves the second of his two game suspension for an off the ball incident against Melbourne Victory. However, it is likely to be much longer until he takes to the field again as FFA this week recommended a minimum six week suspension for making contact with referee Peter Green in the same game. His punishment will be announced next week when his current suspension expires.
New signing Ranko Despotovic has been included in the Sky Blues’ squad for the first time, and the Serbian striker could make his debut from the bench. Otherwise Frank Farina has indicated that he will not make changes to a side that played so well against Melbourne Heart.
A number of Sydney FC players and staff have got behind the Movember campaign this year, and on Saturday the club have made special plans for supporters to show their Mo with pride. Head to Bay 32 at Allianz Stadium where one hundred blue wigs will be handed out to grab the attention of the TV cameras and raise awareness for this great cause.
Saturday 23rd November, Allianz Stadium Moore Park 17:30
Sydney FC v Wellington Phoenix