Blockbuster Derby back in Parramatta

The Wanderers at training. Photo: Megan Dunn
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The Western Sydney Wanderers are off to their best start to an A-League season in history and now they face a strong Sydney FC side also looking to remain undefeated.

An expected sell out crowd will cram into Bankwest Stadium this Saturday night for the first ever Sydney Derby at the new Parramatta venue.

While the Sky Blues have well and truly had the wood over their opponents in recent years, the Wanderers are out to prove they are a different beast this season.

For the first time in their history, Western Sydney have won their opening two clashes to start the season and even enjoyed their first ever win at Marvel Stadium last Friday against Melbourne Victory.

Wanderers coach Markus Babbel said the reigning A-League Champions will be tough to beat and his side will have to be on another level to overcome them.

“We have to go a step further because we take on another strong side who won the league last year. Sydney FC have it in their DNA to win games, like Victory,” he said.

“I hope we improve [on last week] because we have to. We are coming up against a good side who we lost to twice last year and played one draw. It would be fantastic if we can win a game against them.”

The Wanderers racked up another three points last Friday after they clung on to a 2-1 win over the Victory.

With the scores locked at 0-0 at half-time, Keanu Baccus produced a special piece of magic to open the scoring in the 54th minute before marquee striker Alex Meier added a second goal eight minutes later to silence the home crowd.

Victory pulled a goal back via an Ola Toivonen penalty with less than 20 minutes to go, but the Wanderers managed to hold on for a huge confidence building win.

“Every win helps especially if you look where we’ve come from,” Babbel said.

“Last season we were very disappointing… and we had to learn to win again because last season we lost more than we won.

“We have a good side, this is a good group and I really enjoy working with them. The boys are believing now and that’s the most important thing.”

Limited tickets remain for Saturday night’s blockbuster, with the action getting underway at 7.30pm.


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