New Sydney FC coach Frank Farina faces a welcome selection headache as several stars return for the city’s second A-League derby on Saturday.

Farina made a winning start to his tenure as Sky Blues coach as an understrength side secured a valuable 2-1 win over Wellington in New Zealand on Sunday.

Marquee star Alessandro Del Piero missed the match with a hamstring strain but is a chance to return against Western Sydney at Allianz Stadium.

Socceroos Brett Emerton and Terry Antonis will also re-join the squad on Wednesday and Farina must decide how to accommodate the returning players as he weighs up how much to tinker with a winning side, if at all.

Farina was highly impressed with the performance of youngster Blake Powell up front and felt the performance had shown the Sky Blues’ depth.

“You’ve got to have that in your squad and sometimes players will step up,” Farina said.

“I thought the younger ones stepped up and did that.”

Rhyan Grant also impressed pushing up further into a midfield role, giving Farina plenty to ponder against the Wanderers.

Italian superstar Del Piero remained in Sydney over the weekend but did some work on the training paddock and could return to full training with the team later this week.

The win over the Phoenix moved last-placed Sydney alongside reigning champions Brisbane on 10 competition points and a tightly-bunched field means a win against the Wanderers could lift them into the top six.

“It’s a very crucial game,” Grant said on Monday.

“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.”

Sydney will be without midfielder Terry McFlynn after he picked up two yellow cards in the win but Jason Culina is set to start for the second successive game after impressing Farina.

“It was the Jason of old and he’ll just get better,” Farina said of the former Socceroo, who played 60 minutes.

Sydney triumphed in the sides’ first derby in October, winning 1-0 at Parramatta Stadium.

© AAP 2018

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The Crowd Says (25)

  • December 11th 2012 @ 10:35am
    Qantas supports Australian Football said | December 11th 2012 @ 10:35am | ! Report

    Please Frank, don’t change a winning side too much, just include ADP…

    • December 11th 2012 @ 11:22am
      Kasey said | December 11th 2012 @ 11:22am | ! Report

      I can’t wait for this game even though I don’t follow either team. I’m sure it will be enthralling viewing and the atmosphere promises to be blasting through my surround sound system. WSW have been a touch toothless in attack and SFC a touch porous in defence, will they negate each other in a “What if Boonie blocked a Chuck Norris Roundhouse kick”-style apocalyptic event one week before the Mayans predicted it?

      • December 11th 2012 @ 2:06pm
        Realfootball said | December 11th 2012 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

        I personally believe that the Mayans, a stone age culture who hadn’t worked out the wheel, understood the end of the world, and as such we should award the Premiership and Championship double to Alessandro Del Piero right after the derby concludes.

        • December 13th 2012 @ 7:59am
          Kasey said | December 13th 2012 @ 7:59am | ! Report

          Its all bunkum, what do we do at the end of our calendar (Dec31st)??

          We buy a new one and flip over to Jan 1st.
          I am starting to tire of the lay of the land on this website. In the week where the Socceroos re-live the “glory Days of Oceania” and some exciting new faces get capped, we lead into a HUGE round of HAL football with a massive chapter in the storyline of the season: “Sydney Derby II” what was the overwhelming football topic this week?

          2 x Deathriding articles on Melbourne Heart.
          Sometimes I wonder why I bother with this site, too full of AFL trolls itching to tear down the game I love, not to mention the ‘Chicken Little’ football (so called) fans who can’t seem to find anything positive to say about the game no matter which direction they look. I have turned down a free ticket to the 36ers on Saturday night to ensure I don’t miss this game. I am 100% sure it will be a spectacle of atmosphere and great football from before the ref even blows his whistle right the way up to stoppage time in the 2nd half. I’ll be cracking open a chilled bottle of Banrock Station 2010 Rose and sitting back on the ‘Couchporate box’ at Chateau Kasey for this one:)

          WE are football and another exciting instalment of season 2012-13 awaits…bring it on!

          • December 13th 2012 @ 8:06am
            TC said | December 13th 2012 @ 8:06am | ! Report

            On the positive side, soccer articles attract a lot of interest, and that must be viewed as a harbinger for the game.

            Compare that to the AFL articles, which attract the least interest of all.

            There must be something in that.

            We need to stick together and forge a new future.


            • December 13th 2012 @ 8:13am
              Kasey said | December 13th 2012 @ 8:13am | ! Report

              I quote Tonto:

              “What do you mean ‘we’ white man?” 😉

            • December 13th 2012 @ 8:18am
              TC said | December 13th 2012 @ 8:18am | ! Report


              As a lifelong soccer fan, of immigrant background, rest assured that I am available to be won over for the 10th and final time.


            • December 13th 2012 @ 10:03am
              Kasey said | December 13th 2012 @ 10:03am | ! Report


              Funny, most football fans I interact with have no problems using the f-word when talking about the sport we love. Sure we often use both depending on circumstances, but you often perform syntax-gymnastics worthy of a 10 from the Russian Judge just to avoid using it, you just don’t sound like a true believer to me. I’m sure I’m not the only one you’ve failed to convince.

            • December 13th 2012 @ 10:13am
              Punter said | December 13th 2012 @ 10:13am | ! Report


              “What do you mean ‘we’ white man?”

              LOL, brilliant!!!! Maybe it’s ‘Tonto Cat’.

    • December 11th 2012 @ 12:11pm
      Punter said | December 11th 2012 @ 12:11pm | ! Report

      They need to replace McFynn, YESSSSS, so there might be more than 1 change.

      • December 11th 2012 @ 2:06pm
        Realfootball said | December 11th 2012 @ 2:06pm | ! Report

        Poor old Terry. What it must be like to live with a target on your back.

      • December 12th 2012 @ 12:25pm
        jmac said | December 12th 2012 @ 12:25pm | ! Report

        his pass to Grant last week for the second will keep him in for the next month or so..

  • December 11th 2012 @ 11:19am
    rob said | December 11th 2012 @ 11:19am | ! Report

    They’ve got to beleive in themselves thats’ why they call it self-belief! YOu can only give it to youself. Train them hard Franky.

  • December 11th 2012 @ 12:49pm
    rob said | December 11th 2012 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

    Emmo will play a burster now that he is fitter after the EA cup

  • December 11th 2012 @ 12:49pm
    rob said | December 11th 2012 @ 12:49pm | ! Report

    Emmo will play a burster now that he is fitter after the EA cup

  • December 11th 2012 @ 8:57pm
    midfielder said | December 11th 2012 @ 8:57pm | ! Report

    Frank will do a good job woth the. Smurfs … I have a lot. Of time for. Frank.

  • December 11th 2012 @ 10:22pm
    Brick Tamlin of the Pants Party said | December 11th 2012 @ 10:22pm | ! Report

    Looking forward to a great weekend of football,off to watch my boys play the Jets friday night and then will couch bound for two massive games on saturday.Im predicting 25k for MV v BR and hopefully something similiar for the Sydney Derby.

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