NPL Preview: Sydney Derby

It’s Sydney Derby time in the NPL as the Young Wanderers look to return to the top of the table on Friday night.

After a disappointing home loss to Rockdale, the Wanderers bounced back in style last weekend as a late flurry of goals saw them secure a 4-1 win against NWS Spirit.

With the game locked at 1-1 in the final minutes, two goals from Nathaneal Blair – who got a hat-trick in the match – and a poacher’s effort from Adam Bugarija helped the Red and Black to victory against a Spirit side who had a man sent off.

The result leaves the Wanderers in the top four, but because they have a game in hand on all the teams above them, a win in the derby would temporarily put the Wanderers back on top.

Western Sydney’s attack has stood out so far this season, with their 11 goals being the third most in the competition, with Nathaneal Blair scoring six of those goals in what has been a hot start to the season.

Adam Bugarija has also been impressive with two goals, whilst young centre-back Nathan Barrie’s early season performances were rewarded with an A-League Men’s debut off the bench during midweek.

Our crosstown rivals have had a slightly inconsistent start to the season, with two wins, two losses and a draw meaning they occupy eighth place on the table heading into the match.

They ended a two match losing run last weekend with a 4-1 win over fellow academy side Central Coast Mariners, though two of the goals were own goals.

They also suffered a 4-2 defeat against Hills United and were held to a goalless draw against NWS Spirit, two sides the Wanderers have already defeated this season.

The Wanderers will also take confidence from doing the double in the derby last season, with a 1-0 win away from home followed by a 2-1 success at Fairfield Showground later in the season.

Sydney FC vs Western Sydney Wanderers FC
Friday 15th March, 7pm
Rockdale Ilinden Sports Centre