Derbies seldom get more crucial than at Allianz Stadium on Saturday, with more than just city bragging rights on the line
Ryall, Bosschaart, Griffiths, Fabio
Grant, Culina, Emerton
Abbas, Del Piero, Yau
WESTERN SYDNEY WANDERERS
Polenz, T-Stanley, Beauchamp, D'Apuzzo
La Rocca, Ono, Poljak, MooyHersi, Bridge
This time last week, it was all doom and gloom for the two Sydney sides, who were struggling for wins and propping up the rest of the A-League.
But victories for both over the weekend have lifted the spirits ahead of the second harbour city derby of the season.
The Sky Blues handed new boss Frank Farina a first-up win with a spirited performance in the gritty 2-1 road success in Wellington.
The Wanderers, who beat champions Brisbane for the second time in six weeks thanks to Shinji Ono's penalty, moved up five places to fourth heading into Week 11.
Farina will be forced into at least one change to his winning side with skipper Terry McFlynn suspended after he was sent off against the Phoenix.
But the former Australia boss has no shortage of options, with Brett Emerton, Terry Antonis [both on Socceroos duty] and possibly Alessandro Del Piero [hamstring] all available for selection.
It will be interesting to see how many changes Farina does make to his line-up given their rare success in Wellington.
The Wanderers also have in-form midfielder Aaron Mooy back after a strong showing at the East Asian Cup qualifiers, while Mark Bridge returns from injury and could be immediately restored to the starting XI.
There often is an immediate reaction when a new coach comes into a club, but the real test for the Sky Blues squad will be backing it up on Saturday.
The fact it is a derby and there will be a big home crowd should make his job a little easier and Sydney FC will move level on points with their local rivals with a win.
The Wanderers, meanwhile, need to get more out of import striker Dino Kresinger.
The big Croatian has struggled to make an impact this season – so much so that the home fans booed when he was brought on as a late substitute against Brisbane last Saturday.
But Kresinger responded by winning the penalty which won the game for the Wanderers.
He will, however, need to reproduce that form if he is to get the fans off his back and also to help the competition new-boys get the goals to stay in the top six.
The Sky Blues claimed early bragging rights in this fixture with a 1-0 win back in Week 3, but the Wanderers should possess an even stiffer challenge this time around.
Not only are they six places ahead of their 'big brother', but Tony Popovic's side also possess the meanest defence in the A-League.
But there has been an immediate improvement by Sydney since Farina's arrival and Saturday's victory, plus the returns of Emerton, Antonis and possibly Del Piero, should give the home side enough hope to continue their recent resurgence.