Western United will return to Sydney to face Sydney FC in a clash of first versus third on the Isuzu UTE A-League Men table on Saturday.
Sydney FC vs Western United
Saturday, February 12
Nestrata Jubilee Stadium, Sydney
Broadcast: The match will be broadcast live on Paramount+
Sydney FC: DLDWW
Western United: LLWDW
Western United got back to winning ways in its last match, with a sixth 1-0 win of the season coming courtesy of Aleksandar Prijovic’s first-half strike against Western Sydney Wanderers.
That completed a very productive week for United in which John Aloisi’s side also defeated Melbourne City and drew with Macarthur FC.
As a result, United is unbeaten in three matches and continued its stellar defensive record, while Prijovic has netted three goals in his last five matches.
Sydney are in a near identical run of form. Also unbeaten in three matches, the Sky Blues enjoyed an important away win against Adelaide last time out, backing up a thrilling 3-2 win over Central Coast Mariners to make it two wins in a row.
After losing two of the first three matches, Sydney has lost only one of its following six games and arrive to this fixture in good form.
Western United and Sydney FC have only met four times in the past, and it’s the Sky Blues that hold the advantage in the head-to-head record.
United’s only win against the Sky Blues came in the hub in August 2020, when Steven Lustica buried a last-minute winner to give the Green and Black a 2-1 victory.
Sydney won each of the other three meetings without conceding a goal, the last of which was a 1-0 win at Mars Stadium in Ballarat.
After overcoming early COVID-19 issues and injuries, Aloisi has no new concerns coming into the match and will be able to pick a full-strength squad.
Rene Krhin made his debut off the bench against Western Sydney last week and should be involved again, while Tomoki Imai could hope to slot back into the back four.
What John Aloisi is saying
On Aleksandar Prijovic’s strong run of form
“We mentioned at the beginning that it was going to take time, not only for Aleks but also for his teammates to understand him. I still think there’s a lot left in him, I don’t think we’ve seen anywhere near his best yet.
“We know that he’s a goal scorer. He’s always alive in the box, and he’s calm in front of goals. We’ve seen that from him in the past, but also in training – he’s a great finisher. There’s a lot more to come from Aleks, but the good thing is he’s working very hard every day in training.”
On coming up against the in-form Sydney FC
“We’re ready for Sydney because we know what they’re like, how they play. They’re a good side, they’ve always been a good side. They stick to what they believe in and they’re hard to stop.
“With Ninkovic coming back in it’s a big plus for them, Caceres has been really good for them, Kamsoba and Buhagiar are quick. We know with their full-backs they like to get forward. We know how they play, we know what to expect and we know it’s going to be a very difficult game.”