Victories for both sides in Week 10 has revived interest in the second-ever Sydney A-League derby, leading to hopes of a bumper crowd at Allianz Stadium
|By ADAM LUCIUS
A double victory by Sydney's two A-League teams within hours of each other has turned Saturday's A-League Harbour City derby from a potential box office flop to one of the hottest tickets in town.
Competition officials were privately fearing a low turnout for the Sydney FC-Western Sydney Wanderers clash at Allianz Stadium before both clubs pulled off stunning wins on Sunday.
The Sky Blues recorded their first triumph since October 28, upsetting in-form Wellington 2-1 on Sunday, before the Wanderers climbed into the top four on the back of a 1-0 victory over defending champions Brisbane just a few hours later.
The twin wins have set the scene for a mouth-watering local derby at Allianz Stadium - the Sky Blues confident of attracting a crowd of around 25,000 after initially budgeting for about half that figure.
Sydney FC's Rhyan Grant, who scored Sunday's winner, said his side was looking forward to continuing its mini-revival under new coach Frank Farina.
"It's going to be good, especially coming off a win and Western Sydney won as well," he said.
"Both teams are looking good and are going to be confident.
"A big crowd and a packed stadium would be great.
"It's a very crucial game. We're only three points off the Wanderers who are in fourth, so if we can get the win we'll be right back up there."
The Wanderers have been the surprise packet of the A-League, climbing five places to fourth after downing the Roar via a late Shinji Ono penalty.
Tony Popovic's men went down 1-0 to the Sky Blues in the inaugural Sydney derby in October but present a much stronger case the second time around.
"They've had a bit of a resurgence under Frank which I'm not surprised with and we've had a great win [over Brisbane] so it sets it up very nicely," Popovic said.
"It's great [that the teams both won] but derbies are very unique and whether you're on the top or the bottom is irrelevant.
"Form goes out the window."
Popovic is also downplaying the Wanderers' move into fourth spot, pointing out the erratic form of most teams is responsible for the rapid rise and fall of teams on the ladder.
He said: "Being in the six is nice but as you see in this league it changes on a week to week basis," he said.
"Once we finish 18 games you might start seeing a gap in certain areas [of the table] but until then I think it will change a fair bit.
"The challenge for us is to try to become more consistent in terms of our results and (Sunday) was a good start."