Vukovic better bring his gloves warn Wanderers

Western Sydney's Tony Popovic and Mitch Nichols hit back at claims Sydney FC's goalkeeper won't need to make a save in Saturday's derby

Graham Arnold's comments about Sydney FC's defence were hit for six by Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday ahead of the Sydney derby.

On Thursday, Arnold fired up Wanderers fans with claims his team's "brick wall" defence would ensure that Sydney goalkeeper Danny Vukovic wouldn't need to make a save on Saturday night at Allianz Stadium. 

Western Sydney coach Tony Popovic and attacking midfielder Mitch Nichols were happy to respond on Friday.

"He [Arnold] can say whatever he likes," Popovic said.

"At the end of the day I hope he's right cause if he [Vukovic] doesn't make a save it means he's pulling the ball out of the net."

Nichols added: "I think Vuka was man-of-the-match in the derby [in Round 1], if I remember rightly. 

"So it's about us creating and taking the chances when we get the chance. 

"So I'm pretty sure he is going to need his gloves tomorrow night."

Sydney's defence will be under scrutiny on Saturday night as the Sky Blues have lost two experienced centre-backs over the past fortnight.

Matt Jurman has moved to Suwon Bluewings in South Korea, while Seb Ryall (hamstring) is injured.

Arnold has indicated he might give one of Patrick Flottman and George Timotheou their debut alongside Alex Wilkinson in the derby and Nichols promised to attack any potential debutant.

The Sky Blues' other option is to play defensive midfielder Brandon O'Neill next to Wilkinson.

"If it's a youth player I'm sure Arnie will have them ready but it's a good opportunity for us to probably try get at them early and test them out," he said. 

"The boys are pumped and we're ready to turn it [the Wanderers' losing derby record] around."