Regardless of the competition ladder, the Sydney derby is always worth watching with Sunday’s match broadcast nationally on Fox Sports and ABC TV.
It will be a particularly special occasion with Allianz Stadium playing host this time, as part of a Hyundai A-League double-header.
The Wanderers have beaten their rivals just once in eight attempts, but the matches are historically tight. Sydney have won by a single goal in four of their six victories.
Both teams are boosted by the return of Westfield Young Matildas following the team’s successful qualification for the AFC U-19 Championship. Those reinforcements come just in the nick of time with talented youngster Jada Whyman available to replace fellow goalkeeper Casey Dumont, who is set for a few weeks on the sidelines with injury.
The Wanderers showed a lot of promise in their opening outing - a 4-2 defeat at Perth Glory. It took some Sam Kerr magic to undo the Sydnesiders after they had pulled level at 2-2. The Wanderers boast a hugely changed line-up this year and the team will likely show more cohesion the second time around.
While the Sky Blues are also bolstered by their young international crop, there is bad news as well. Star utility Caitlin Foord must sit out with a week’s suspension after her two yellow-card send-off last weekend. A deserved nomination for the 2016 AFC Women’s Asian Player of the Year in midweek will have more than lifted Foord’s spirits.
Sydney will be disappointed after a 2-1 defeat at the hands of old rivals Brisbane Roar last week. Can they bounce back on home soil?
Sydney FC v Western Sydney Wanderers
Sunday 13 November 2016
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Local kick-off: 2.30pm
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Sydney FC squad: 1.Sham KHAMIS (gk), 2.Teresa POLIAS (c), 3.Remy SIEMSEN, 4.Elizabeth RALSTON, 5.Gabrielle MARZANO, 6.Servet UZUNLAR, 7.Nicola BOLGER, 11.Natalie TOBIN, 12.Olivia PRICE, 13.Georgia YEOMAN-DALE, 14.Alanna KENNEDY, 16.Hannah BACON, 15.Sarah EASTHOPE (gk), 17.Kyah SIMON, 19.Leena KHAMIS, 20.Princess IBINI
Ins: 3.Remy SIEMSEN (return from international duty), 16.Hannah BACON (return from international duty), 20.Princess IBINI (return from international duty)
Outs: 9.Caitlin FOORD (suspended – 1 week)
Western Sydney Wanderers squad: 1.Jada WHYMAN (gk), 2.Caitlin COOPER (c), 3.Nikola ORGILL, 5.Helen PETINOS, 6.Kendall FLETCHER, 7.Sarah YATIM, 8.Erica HALLOWAY, 9.Katie STENGEL, 10.Paige NIELSEN, 11.Georgia PLESSAS, 12.Rachel LOWE, 13.Eliza AMMENDOLIA, 14.Alex ARLITT, 15.Ellie CARPENTER, 18. Angelique HRISTODOULOU, 23.Joey BURGESS, 30.Courtney NEWBON (gk) **two to be omitted*
Ins: 1.Jada WHYMAN (gk) (return from international duty), 11.Georgia PLESSAS (return from international duty), 12.Rachel LOWE (return from international duty), 15.Ellie CARPENTER (return from international duty)
Outs: 4.Chloe O’BRIEN (not selected), 16.Alix ROBERTS (not selected)
Unavailable: 22.Casey DUMONT (gk) (leg – 3 weeks)