Ahead of a blockbuster Big Blue semi-final on Saturday, former Melbourne Victory defender Rodrigo Vargas has hit out at Sydney FC saying the club has been protected by some favourable refereeing.
The Sky Blues are on course for back-to-back championships should they beat Victory and seal a spot in another A-League decider.
They've dominated the competition over the past two seasons and currently hold all three major trophies in Australia but Vargas unsurprisingly believes his old rivals haven't done it all themselves.
"Sydney FC have been a bit protected in the A-League I believe and they tend to get more decisions go their way," Vargas told Fox Sports.
"In the Asian Champions League it’s been different. Brandon O’Neill and Josh Brillante get picked up for their fouls more often.
"In the A-League they have often (fouled) in transition and there’s bookings that don’t get picked up.
"In the Sydney-Victory games, there’s also been clearer examples like the David Carney handball from last season.
"I would just hope that referee doesn’t get caught up in the hype of the occasion and stays on top of things."
Interestingly the last time the two sides met in round 27, Sydney FC just edged the official foul count conceding 17 to Victory's 16.
In terms of season tallies the Sky Blues have however copped an average 12 fouls per game against them with Kevin Muscat's side going at 18 in comparison and collecting 19 more yellow cards and four extra reds in the process.
While Muscat didn't point the finger quite as much as his former teammate, the Victory coach conceded the stats don't lie.
"I read the comments this morning and Ronny's entitled to his opinion," Muscat said on Friday.
"There's a lot of stats that allude to what Ronny said this morning but again it's not something we can control.
"Just hopefully those things don't influence the game."