Western United are taking on Sydney FC, and what a cracker of a game this could turn out to be.
Arguably the two most attacking teams in the league coming up against each other with 22 goals between them so far. Both teams play with very attacking formations, which allow their midfielders to get forward all the time.
For Western United, the security of three central defenders spread across the pitch allows Mark Rudan to play very attacking midfield, with Dario Jertec and Panagiotis Kone mostly seen as attacking midfielders playing as central midfielders. They are allowed to get forward due to the bulky defence behind them.
As for Sydney FC, Steve Corica has set the team up with a philosophy that they keep possession and pass the ball around the opposition. Luke Brattan consistently slips in between Ryan McGowan and Alex Wilkinson, and there are always multiple options for every player on the ball.
They also have Milos Ninkovic and Alex Baumjohann, who both hold up the ball amazingly and spread the field of play beautifully. This allows Sydney to thoroughly attack the opposition, and both teams are very pleasing on the eye.
Western United squad
The big talking point that wasn’t part of the football in Western United’s 1-0 defeat to Central Coast Mariners was Besart Berisha being taken off in the 62nd minute. The look on his face could have killed someone.
Many thought that he may not have been included in the extended squad for the next game, but it seems that he has made up with Mark Rudan and will most likely start against Sydney FC. Scott Macdonald was rested against Central Coast Mariners and will also most likely start against Sydney.
I would love to see Max Burgess get a start as he is controlled and very comfortable on the ball and always seems to make his team livelier. However, with Alessandro Diamanti occupying the central-attacking midfield position, it is unlikely that he will start, unless he wants to play in the central midfield which would be very aggressive attacking-wise.
In other news for Western United, Ersan Gulum and Johnathan Aspropotamitis have been promoted to the first-team squad.
Western United predicted starting 11
GK: Filip Kurto
LCB: Aaron Calver
CB: Andrew Durante
RCB: Connor Chapman
LWB: Connor Pain
RCM: Panagiotis Kone
LCM: Dario Jertec
CAM: Alessandro Diamanti
ST: Scott McDonald
ST: Besart Berisha
Sydney FC squad
After a 3-1 win away to Perth Glory, it’s unlikely that Sydney FC will be changing up their starting line-up. Young guns Joel King, Harry Van Der Saag and Marco Tilio are back in the extended squad, but apart from that, there aren’t many talking points for Sydney FC. Alex Wilkinson has signed a new contract which means he’s a dedicated sky blue until the end of the 2020-21 season, and Sydney FC are working on a contract for Milos Ninkovic as well.
There has been no news on if they are considering resigning Adam Le Fondre on an extended deal, but he seems happy in Australia, and with the form that he’s in, I believe Sydney FC will pounce on him and try to secure him for a year or two longer.
Sydney FC predicted starting 11
GK: Andrew Redmayne
LB: Michael Zullo
CB: Alex Wilkinson
CB: Ryan McGowan
RB: Rhyan Grant
CDM: Brandon O’Neil
CDM: Luke Brattan
LAM: Milos Ninkovic
RAM: Alex Baumjohann
ST: Adam Le Fondre
ST: Kosta Barbarouses
Predicted match result
Many people are predicting for Sydney FC to easily see this game out, but I believe that it will be harder than that for the Sky Blues. My prediction is an entertaining 2-2 draw.