Category Archive: Western Sydney Wanderers

Western Sydney Wanderers News

Mar 19

Tempers flare as Adelaide nick A-League win over Brisbane amid controversy

Adelaide United beat Brisbane Roar 2-1 at Coopers StadiumWestern Sydney Wanderers beat Wellington Phoenix 3-1 at Spotless StadiumTensions boiled over after Adelaide United stole a controversial last-gasp 2-1 win against Brisbane as a 98th-minute Sergio…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/19/adelaide-nick-a-league-win-over-brisbane-after-98th-minute-controversy

Mar 15

Wanderers gain confidence after rescuing ACL campaign in Korea

FC Seoul 2-3 Western Sydney WanderersAdelaide United 3-3 Jeju UnitedCoach Tony Popovic senses FC Seoul will again be there for the taking when revived Western Sydney resume their Asian Champions League campaign in four weeks.The Wanderers rescued their…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/16/wanderers-gain-confidence-after-rescuing-acl-campaign-in-korea

Mar 04

Further frustration for Wanderers in stalemate with struggling Adelaide

  • Western Sydney Wanderers 0-0 Adelaide United
  • Wellington Phoenix 3-3 Perth Glory

It was a new night but the same old struggles for Western Sydney, whose A-League finals ambitions are no healthier after they were held to a goalless draw by lowly Adelaide. A highly contentious disallowed goal denied the Wanderers a win they so sorely craved after Tuesday night’s 5-1 Asian Champions League disembowelling by Shanghai SIPG, and leaves their top-six spot at risk of being snatched away by Newcastle.

Related: A-League: Bobo strike seals Sydney FC victory in Big Blue

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/04/a-league-football-phoenix-glory-wanderers

Feb 28

Review of scheduling called for after dismal night for Australian clubs in ACL

  • Scheduling ‘doesn’t help’, says Brisbane coach John Aloisi after 6-0 loss
  • Western Sydney also fall to heavy defeat, 5-1 against Shanghai SIPG

Brisbane Roar coach John Aloisi believes Football Federation Australia will be forced to re-examine A-League scheduling because they have made it “virtually impossible” for teams to compete in the AFC Champions League.

The Roar were smashed 6-0 by Ulsan Hyundai in South Korea on Tuesday night, continuing the utter humiliation of Australian sides at this year’s tournament.

Related: Phoenix lead late-season scramble as finals race remains wide open

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/mar/01/review-of-scheduling-called-for-after-dismal-night-for-australian-clubs-in-acl

Feb 26

Banned Western Sydney fans are ‘juvenile idiots’, says Ange Postecoglou

  • Socceroos coach wants life bans for Red and Black Bloc offenders
  • Wanderers belatedly issue apology to Graham Arnold over homophobic banner

Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou has denounced Western Sydney’s active support group as “juvenile idiots” and called for lifetime bans on Red and Black Bloc members involved in the offensive Sydney derby banner.

The Wanderers issued a belated formal apology to Graham Arnold on Saturday, a week after members of the RBB unfurled a tifo of the Sydney FC coach engaging in a sex act during their team’s 1-0 win.

Related: Western Sydney escape with $20,000 FFA fine for fans’ homophobic banner

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/26/banned-western-sydney-fans-are-juvenile-idiots-says-ange-postecoglou

Feb 23

Western Sydney escape with $20,000 FFA fine for fans’ homophobic banner

Wanderers brought to book over incident at Sydney derbyBut FFA opt not to trigger suspended points deductionWestern Sydney have been fined $20,000 after being found guilty by Football Federation Australia of bringing the game into disrepute after Wande…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/23/western-sydney-escape-with-20000-ffa-fine-for-fans-homophobic-banner

Feb 22

David Squires on … the Red and Black Bloc’s homophobic banner

Our cartoonist casts his eye over the incident which marred last weekend’s Sydney derby

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/ng-interactive/2017/feb/22/david-squires-on-the-red-and-black-blocs-homophobic-banner

Feb 22

Fourteen Wanderers fans banned by club over roles in display of banner

  • Red and Black Bloc facing closure if further incidents occur
  • Graham Arnold says his daughters will no longer attend games

Western Sydney Wanderers’ active supporter group, the Red and Black Bloc, has been put on notice after 14 of its members were handed 18-month bans for their roles in the display of a homophobic banner last weekend.

Related: Wanderers fans hit out at FFA after club issued with show cause over banner

Related: Second-string Wanderers fall to heavy ACL defeat against Urawa Red Diamonds

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/22/fourteen-wanderers-fans-banned-by-club-over-roles-in-display-of-banner

Feb 21

Second-string Wanderers fall to heavy ACL defeat against Urawa Red Diamonds

Western Sydney Wanderers 0-4 Urawa Red DiamondsTony Popovic fields weakened side due to busy week Western Sydney opened their Asian Champions League group stage campaign in dismal fashion with a 4-0 hammering by Japanese giants Urawa Red Diamonds.Three…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/21/second-string-wanderers-fall-to-heavy-acl-defeat-against-urawa-red-diamonds

Feb 20

Wanderers fans hit out at FFA after club issued with show cause over banner

  • Club asked to explain actions of fans after homophobic banner displayed
  • Unrepentant Red and Black Bloc label FFA ‘dictatorial’

In the face of widespread condemnation and with another show-cause notice issued to their club, Western Sydney Wanderers fan group, the Red and Black Bloc, are refusing to back down after a homophobic banner was unfurled during the weekend’s Sydney derby.

Related: FFA condemn homophobic Wanderers fans’ banner in Sydney derby

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/21/wanderers-fans-hit-out-at-ffa-after-club-issued-with-show-cause-over-banner

Feb 19

FFA condemn homophobic Wanderers fans’ banner in Sydney derby

  • Home fans display offensive tifo during pulsating derby
  • A-League chief warns ‘discriminatory’ image will not be tolerated

Football Federation Australia has roundly condemned a homophobic banner brandished by Western Sydney fans during Saturday night’s A-League Sydney derby, and foreshadowed punishment for those involved.

The banner, depicting a blue-faced man giving oral sex, was put up in the Wanderers’ support area at ANZ Stadium during the second half of the game, won 1-0 by the Wanderers.

Related: Wanderers end Sydney FC’s unbeaten run in pulsating A-League derby

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/19/ffa-condemn-homophobic-wanderers-fans-banner-in-sydney-derby

Feb 12

A-League: Mariners punish wasteful Wanderers to open up race

  • Central Coast Mariners 2-0 Western Sydney Wanderers
  • Mariners now level on points with Wellington

A second-half Roy O’Donovan double has denied Western Sydney a first win at Spotless Stadium and lifted Central Coast two points shy of the A-League’s top six.

Everything looked dead against a third consecutive win for the ninth-placed Mariners on Sunday, but the youthful outfit gathered composure after a poor first half to win 2-0.

Related: Depleted Melbourne City come back to earn draw against Brisbane Roar

Related: A-League: Castro nets twice as Perth Glory thrash Adelaide

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/12/a-league-mariners-punish-wasteful-wanderers-to-open-up-race

Feb 04

Victory seal controversial comeback win in Melbourne derby

Besart Berisha propelled Melbourne Victory to an A-League derby comeback for the ages, coming from a goal behind to defeat Melbourne City 2-1 in the dying stages. Amid high drama on Saturday, Tim Cahill was sent off for dissent without making it onto the pitch as Victory jumped off the canvas with six minutes remaining.

City appeared to be heading for a win when Neil Kilkenny scored the first goal of his Australian career to put them ahead after 70 minutes. But Berisha – who had threatened to be the night’s villain after having a penalty saved brilliantly by Dean Bouzanis – put Victory on terms from Marco Rojas’ cut-back.

Related: Sydney FC undefeated from 18 A-League starts after Brisbane draw

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/feb/05/melbourne-derby-victory-a-league-glory

Jan 28

A-League: Brisbane Roar beat Western Sydney Wanderers in thriller

Brisbane 2-1 Western Sydney WanderersBrett Holman scores winner in added timeBrett Holman has capped his return from injury by guiding Brisbane to a last-gasp 2-1 A-League win over Western Sydney.Making his first appearance since November after undergo…

Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jan/28/a-league-brisbane-roar-beat-western-sydney-wanderers-in-thriller

Jan 22

Lachlan Scott opens A-League account in Wanderers’ win over Newcastle

  • Western Sydney seal first home win of season, after going winless for six games
  • Scott and Jaushua Sotirio on scoresheet in 2-0 win

Teenage striker Lachlan Scott has finally got the monkey off his – and Western Sydney’s – back, scoring his maiden A-League goal to help the Wanderers to their first home win of the season.

Scott’s first-half strike and Jaushua Sotirio’s 68th-minute effort sealed a much-needed 2-0 triumph over mid-table rivals Newcastle at Campbelltown Stadium on Sunday. The result was a long time coming for Tony Popovic’s stuttering squad, winless in their past six games, with just 15 points from 15 rounds and needing a win to stay in touch with the top six.

Related: David Squires on … fan behaviour at the Sydney derby

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jan/22/lachlan-scott-opens-a-league-account-in-wanderers-win-over-newcastle

Jan 18

David Squires on … fan behaviour at the Sydney derby

Our resident cartoonist takes a look back at the weekend’s goalless draw which, disappointingly for some, did not feature any pyrotechnics. You can find David’s archive of Australian sport cartoons here and he also has a book out – order it here

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/picture/2017/jan/18/david-squires-on-fan-behaviour-at-the-sydney-derby

Jan 15

Vedran Janjetović repels abuse as Wanderers show signs of improvement

Western Sydney made their point in a goalless Sydney derby after their goalkeeper reacted admirably to vitriol from his former club’s fans

If you can count on a Sydney derby for one thing, besides providing arguably the best atmosphere at any live sporting event in the country, it’s lashings of pantomime. And so it was that when Vedran Janjetović, the former Sydney FC goalkeeper now with Wanderers, made his way to his goalmouth in front of the Cove before the start of the second half, he was greeted with jeers and a shower of toy snakes that wriggled gelatinously, if not menacingly, as they flew through the humid night air.

Related: Vedran Janjetović keeps tight-lipped after shining in face of Sydney FC abuse

Related: Controversy as Sydney FC and Wanderers share spoils in derby clash

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jan/16/vedran-janjetovic-repels-abuse-as-wanderers-show-signs-of-improvement

Jan 15

Vedran Janjetović keeps tight-lipped after shining in face of Sydney FC abuse

  • Western Sydney Wanderers keeper banned from talking to media
  • Rubber snakes thrown at goalkeeper during goalless Sydney derby

He stood tall in the face of brutal Sydney derby vitriol, but Vedran Janjetovic wasn’t allowed to talk about it.

The Western Sydney goalkeeper was under strict instruction from his new club to avoid media on Saturday night’s first return to Allianz Stadium, the venue at which he played five A-League seasons for Sydney FC before last month’s an acrimonious exit.

Related: Controversy as Sydney FC and Wanderers share spoils in derby clash

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jan/15/vedran-janjetovic-keeps-tight-lipped-after-shining-in-face-of-sydney-fc-abuse

Jan 14

Controversy as Sydney FC and Wanderers share spoils in derby clash

Sydney FC have retained their superior A-League derby status, holding Western Sydney to a goalless draw in controversial circumstances. Saturday night’s stalemate will aggrieve the Wanderers, who should have been awarded a first-half penalty for Michael Zullo’s handball.

But Danny Vukovic’s late heroics in front of a crowd of 40,143 at Allianz Stadium ensured the Sky Blues’ unbeaten juggernaut rolled into a 15th game, as Graham Arnold’s league leaders stretched their undefeated derby record to three years and three days.

Related: Melbourne Victory hang on against Brisbane Roar in A-League classic

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2017/jan/14/controversy-as-sydney-fc-and-wanderers-share-the-spoils-in-tight-clash

Jan 14

A-League: Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers – live!

11.11am GMT

A fair result? Probably. And when the dust settles, neither time will be especially unhappy with the way things panned out. Nor will Melbourne Victory for that matter.

For the Wanderers, they’ve held the league’s runaway leaders in their own backyard and got some measure of respect back for that 4-0 drubbing earlier in the season. Can it be a catalyst for a charge up the table into the finals? Only if they start finding the back of the net some time in the very near future.

10.59am GMT

That’s all she wrote! Honours even. The Wanderers could have edged it in the second half but they’ll be happy enough with a point.

10.57am GMT

92 mins: Clisby closes out Ibini for a throw. This is it surely. Ibini whips a ball in but Janjetovic is there, solid as ever, much to the Cove’s chagrin.

10.55am GMT

90 mins: Attendance of 40,143. Not too shabby, just a shame there haven’t been any goals… (that’s me deliberately tempting fate by the way)

10.54am GMT

89 mins: Janjetovic dives at the feet of Carney to shut out a Simon pass. The keeper just earned himself a few more snakes.

10.53am GMT

88 mins: Simon picks up a booking for a late challenge. It wouldn’t have felt like a derby game if he hadn’t seen yellow at some stage.

10.51am GMT

86 mins: Wanderers create some danger in the Sydney box but there’s far too much blue and not enough red in there for it to turn into anything more. They end up with a corner, but nothing comes of it. Hamill comes on for Cornthwaite.

10.49am GMT

85 mins: Parp! Ibini tees up a half volley that sails harmlessly over. Bobo comes off for Simon. Should make the last five minutes interesting.

10.47am GMT

83 mins: Sydney now with a free-kick on the left side of the box, about 25 yards out. Carney whips one in but it’s poor and cleared. Not convincingly though and there’s a few nerves as Wanderers throw bodies on the line to keep the hosts at bay.

10.45am GMT

81 mins: No sooner have I said that than the Wanderers create three quick half-chances that leave Sydney reeling. Brilliant bit of keeping from Vukovic to smother the danger. Both keepers have been fantastic tonight.

10.44am GMT

80 mins: Who’s got the skill to pinch a winner then? Someone? No one? Wanderers have arguably shaded it this half, but I’ve still got that nagging feeling that Sydney FC might pop up with a late winner from somewhere. They’re having that kind of season.

10.41am GMT

78 mins: Great cut-out tackle from Dimas from a low-cross into the box. I think it was Bobo waiting to pounce if he’d missed. Brosque comes off for Carney.

10.40am GMT

76 mins: Aspro cuts out a charge down the right from Ibini after a slightly skewed pass makes him check his run. It’s been that kind of night for the Sky Blues, the final ball just hasn’t been there.

10.38am GMT

74 mins: Good work from Vukovic to come rushing out of his area and clear a dangerous ball over the top before it can reach Nichols. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – there’s been nothing between the teams tonight, which is a compliment to Wanderers rather than Sydney FC.

10.36am GMT

10.34am GMT

70 mins: Looks like Ibini is warming up for Sydney. Will he be the difference? He’s definitely got the talent to win a game. Interesting images of rubber snakes being thrown onto the net behind Janjetovic. He’s getting the full Taylor Swift treatment. The keeper has seen the funny side though. Ibini on, Holosko off.

10.32am GMT

69 mins: They’re getting closer though! Neville with a screamer under pressure from 20 yards, but Vukovic is equal to it – tipping it over for a corner.

10.31am GMT

68 mins: Clisby with a (let’s be generous) “shot” that flies high and wide over the bar. It’s not hard to see why the Wanderers have struggled to find the back of the net.

10.30am GMT

66 mins: Bobo takes a first-time shot but he can’t get it past Janjetovic. The goalkeeper has kept the boo boys quiet tonight. Well… quieter.

10.29am GMT

64 mins: First sub of the evening – Jumpei on for Scott. Can the Wanderers force the issue?

10.26am GMT

62 mins: Ironic cheers ahoy as Janjetovic slices one out of play. The Cove have been waiting for that all night.

10.26am GMT

61 mins: Bobo with an attempted scissor kick. It would have looked spectacular if it had come off. But it doesn’t. Instead he just sits there on the turf as the ball trundles out off his ankle.

10.24am GMT

59 mins: Against expectation, the Wanderers seem to be getting better this half. In fact they’ve been the better team. Sydney still seem to be waiting for that forced mistake to present itself further up the pitch.

10.22am GMT

10.20am GMT

55 mins: Oooo! Sotirio blasts one over the bar from about 20 yards. It never really threatened Vukovic but it was a warning shot for Sydney.

10.18am GMT

53 mins: Is anyone else starting to get the feeling that neither side would be particularly upset if this one finished all square? There’s not much in the way of urgency from either team so far, unless you count the standard “high pressing” game of Sydney FC.

10.15am GMT

50 mins: Well that’s Arnold’s pre-march prediction gone. Nichols with a glancing header that forces a sharp stop from Vukovic – his first proper save of the game. That’s as dangerous as the Wanderers have looked. They’ve started the half well.

10.13am GMT

48 mins: There’s been a similar feel to the start of the second half as there was to the whole of the first – a tussle in the middle as both teams try to force an error from the other side. The Wanderers have probed and probed and probed but they still can’t find an opening and the attack falls apart as they try to play a killer ball and fail.

10.10am GMT

46 mins: Away we go. Can the Wanderers keep up the pressure against the famously fast-finishing Sydney? We’ll see soon enough. Janjetovic playing just in front of the Cove now. Should be interesting….

10.09am GMT

Looks like I’m on my own with saying that wasn’t a penalty against Zullo in the first half. But like all good belligerent pundits, I’m sticking to my guns. Did it hit his hand? Yes. Could he have done anything about it? No. It had already hit him before he knew what was happening. IMO. It looks worse in slow-mo because he’s trying to shield his face as he gets out of the way. Then again, as a former defender, I’m bound to say that.

9.53am GMT

And there we have it. A couple of good saves have kept Wanderers in it, but then Sydney FC have had a couple of scares themselves. Nothing in it at the minute. Catch you in 15 mins.

9.51am GMT

44 mins: Well it’s not exactly been fireworks on the pitch (or flares for that matter) but the fans are still in fine voice as we approach the break. Can Martinez create something with a jinking run? No. No he can’t. Sydney win the ball back then get a free-kick close to the halfway line. That could be all she wrote.

9.48am GMT

42 mins: Grant walking a fine line after another tackle goes through the back of Sotirio. Popovic would probably be more pleased than Arnold with how things have gone so far. No clear opportunities but they’ve held their own against the league leaders. Just.

9.46am GMT

40 mins: Half-time on the horizon and all-square would be about right. It’s been more of an arm-wrestle than a full-on UFC bloodfest. Wanderers still look a little nervous when they’re pressed so high up the pitch by Sydney. They’re not alone in that regard though.

9.45am GMT

9.43am GMT

36 mins: There’s not been much between the teams, but Sydney FC look the more dangerous when they do break. That’s been the only difference really though, and some of that is down to confidence. Grant goes in the book for a clumsy foul on Sotirio.

9.41am GMT

34 mins: Well we’ve not seen much in the way of shots but there’s still been enough action to keep fans glued. Both sides seem not exactly nervous, but certainly a little tense, like they’re waiting for mistakes from each other. In fairness, there have been a couple. Maybe that’s part of the plan, let the occasion create the openings. Wanderers win a corner after some probing but it’s cleared confidently.

9.38am GMT

31 mins: For all their huff and puff, Wanderers haven’t really found a way through the Sky Blues defence. A mistake from Aspro almost allows Sydney to break clean through but the Wanderers just about recover in time.

9.35am GMT

29 mins: The Wanderers play a quick free-kick to keep the pressure up, their outlook has completely changed in the last five minutes. Can they maintain it though? Sydney FC will always create chances so you need to take yours when you get the chance. Even as I’m typing this, Sydney sweep up the other end and win a corner. It comes to nothing, but just a warning to the Wanderers that they need to make the most of their spell of dominance.

9.33am GMT

26 mins: They might not have got the penalty they wanted, but that little bit of controversy seems to have sparked the Wanderers. A few minutes ago, Sydney FC were turning the screw, since then it’s been all Wanderers. The leaders look a little ruffled.

9.31am GMT

24 mins: Bit of a let-off for Sydney FC. The pundits are saying it was a penalty but I don’t think Zullo had much of a chance to get out the way. He was turning away from the ball and had his arms tucked into his chest. Definite corner though. They get another corner a few minutes later but fail to beat the first man and the danger passes.

9.29am GMT

22 mins: After a bit of push and shove, the Wanderers finally take a short free-kick. It’s then drilled into the box, hits Zullo’s hand and flies out. Penalty? Corner? The ref says goal kick. Baffling decision.

9.27am GMT

19 mins: Wasted opportunity for Sydney. Brosque the man at fault with a poor cross after a speedy counter-attack. Ominous stuff though. The Wanderers need to start asking questions of Sydney or they’ll end up getting swamped soon. As it is, they’ve got a free-kick on the edge of the Sydney area for a handball. A chance?

9.24am GMT

17 mins: The boos might increase a couple of decibels after that little spell of brilliance from Janjetovic. At the risk of jinxing him, he’s handled the pressure well. The Wanderers get a spell of possession and, wisely, decide to pass it around the back, taking some of the pace out of the game.

9.21am GMT

15 mins: Great save from Janjetovic (if a little overly acrobatic) from a dipping header off a corner. Pressure mounting on Wanderers, but they’ve withstood it well so far.

9.20am GMT

14 mins: The first signs of Sydney starting to up their game. A couple of corners come to nothing, but then Holosko steals in for a low cross and knocks it goalwards only for Janjetovic to save it – not that he knew much about it.

9.19am GMT

12 mins: Holosko with his first sight of goal, but his drilled shot is just diverted off target by the stretched leg of Aspro. Great run, even better tackle.

9.16am GMT

10 mins: A promising bit of pressure, sparked by some nice movement from Martinez, comes to nothing for the Wanderers. Nothing in it as both teams battle for control of the midfield. Sydney passing it around the back, they don’t seem in any rush to force the issue but then why would they? Confidence is high and they have so many goalscoring options they can afford to wait for one to spring up. Grant almost breaks through but just can’t get on the end of the pass.

9.13am GMT

7 mins: Both teams playing with gusto but the aggression has been kept on a leash. So far. Neither side in the ascendancy, and no sniffs of goal yet either.

9.12am GMT

5 mins: Every touch Janetovic gets is met with a round of booing. No surprises there, it’s just a question of how long the Cove keep it up. It’s been a little scrappy so far, although that’s more to do with the harrying and chasing of both sides rather than any obvious errors.

9.09am GMT

3 mins: Sotirio wins a foul from Calver on the left flank, a little bit of experience on show there as he clearly played for an FK without making it look obvious. Dangerous free-kick into the box from Dimas but it flies straight into the keeper’s hands.

9.07am GMT

1min: Peeeeeeeeep! And after much booing of Janjetovic, we’re off. The Wanderers get us under way. An early cross into the box is overhit and Sydney clear with ease. The Sky Blues have their foot on the ball now, playing it around calmly.

9.00am GMT

8.57am GMT

If there are reasons for optimism for the Wanderers, then Arnold’s comments underline one of them – overconfidence. The Sky Blues were distinctly underwhelming against the Mariners last time out, and the talk among some fans this week was not if they’d win, but by how many.

Their defensive depth will be tested too. Arnold has opted to throw Aaron Calver into the heart of defence. It’s not exactly ideal to chuck a 20-year-old – just back from long-term fitness problems – into the starting line-up in front of 40,000 fans but thems the breaks. It might just give the Wanderers a chance to find a crack in that brick wall.

8.54am GMT

Squad news:
Sydney FC: Danny Vukovic (gk), Michael Zullo, Aaron Calver, Alex Wilkinson, Rhyan Grant, Milos Dimitrijevic, Brandon O’Neill, Filip Holosko, Milos Ninkovic, Alex Brosque, Bobo. Subs: Andrew Redmayne, Bernie Ibini, David Carney, Matt Simon, Patrick Flottmann.
Western Sydney Wanderers: Vedran Janjetovic (gk), Jack Clisby, Mitch Nichols, Dimas (c), Nicolás Martinez, Scott Neville, Jaushua Sotirio, Kearyn Baccus, Robert Cornthwaite, Jonathan Aspropotamitis, Lachlan Scott. Subs: Jerrad Tyson (gk), Brendan Hamill, Bruno Pinatares, Jumpei Kusukami, Abraham Majok

Obviously the big news is Calver starting at centre-half. The right decision from Arnold? Out of the few options he had, I think it’s probably the right call. A bit of a shake-up up-front from the Wanderers too. They need to try something to solve their goalscoring woes.

8.51am GMT

The other talking point this week is two former Sydney FC favourites ditching the sky blue for a spell in red and black – namely Vedren Janjetovic and Terry Antonis. I think it’s fair to say there’s more sympathy for Antonis than Janjetovic from the Sky Blues faithful – largely because of the shot-stopper’s parting shot at his former club. I suspect he’s earned himself a chorus of boos from the Cove for that outburst.

It’ll be interesting to see how Antonis fares when he finally gets another A-League game. He desperately needs the minutes and, at 23, still has a big future ahead of him if he can find his form. He’s not in the squad tonight though.

Related: Vedran Janjetovic slams ‘months of lies’ from Sydney FC amid acrimonious exit

8.48am GMT

While we’re waiting, let’s have a look at the previous game between these two – namely Sydney FC’s 4-0 win at ANZ Stadium. As Mitch Nichols pointed out this week, Sydney may have won but keeper Danny Vukovic had to pull off several fine saves to keep Wanderers at bay. It makes Arnold’s midweek dig look even more fate-tempting.

8.46am GMT

Deep stuff.

8.45am GMT

I like a bit of pre-game banter as much as the next guy but I’m not sure what Arnold was trying to achieve with that one. To get under Popovic’s skin? Maybe, but was it necessary considering the disproportionate momentum going into this game? In all likelihood he’s just given the Wanderers some extra motivation. It’s the footballing equivalent of a showboating boxer sticking out his chin and goading his opponent to try and hit him, which kind of makes Sydney FC the Floyd Mayweather to the Wanderers’ Conor McGregor. Not sure who comes off worst in that metaphor.

I hope he (Arnold) is right. Because if he (Vukovic) doesn’t make a save it means he’s pulling the ball out of the net. – Tony Popovic

8.42am GMT

Of course, no Sydney derby build-up would be complete without an obligatory wind-up attempt from serial fire-stoker Graham Arnold. After previously inviting Wanderers fans to his Sydney mansion, the man with a love for architecture metaphors went for brick walls this time (although it might just have been a reference to the fact that Sydney has resembled a kiln at various times this week). It’ll be interesting to see if he squeezes in a reference to Frank Gehry before the next derby.

Our defence starts from the front, we’ve got a brick wall, we’ve conceded seven goals in 14 games and again our defence starts from the front, we’ve had many games where Danny Vukovic hasn’t had to make a save and the same will happen on Saturday night. – Graham Arnold

8.34am GMT

Evening everyone, thanks for joining me tonight. The temperature is high, the Allianz is rammed, and there’s so much tension in the air you can almost smell it – although that might just be the scent of KFC wafting in from the SCG next door. In short, we’re all set for a corker tonight and, while crispy chicken-loving Big Bash fans might disagree, there’s no doubt this is the hottest ticket in town (pyrotechnics after every boundary don’t count) with 40,000-plus fans expected to flow through the turnstiles in tonight’s sellout. As weathermen have been saying all week, it’s shaping up to be a scorcher in Sydney.

On paper, this match really shouldn’t warrant all that much attention. Sydney FC have been both an irresistible force and an immovable object this season, having scored exactly twice as many goals as the Wanderers during an undefeated campaign, while conceding a paltry seven, a figure that looks so anomalous on the A-League website I’m starting to think Russian hackers must be involved.

12.26am GMT

Richard will be here shortly. In the meantime, take a moment to look at David Squires’ latest cartoon, featuring toilet humour, John Kosmina and Sussan Ley.

Related: David Squires on … Melbourne City’s next coach

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Permanent link to this article: https://www.theguardian.com/football/live/2017/jan/14/a-league-sydney-fc-v-western-sydney-wanderers-live

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