Over 40,000 fans are expected to fill Allianz Stadium for the Sydney derby, and the Wanderers’ Youssouf Hersi says most of them will be in red and black.
Sydney FC and Western Sydney are preparing for battle ahead of Saturday’s heated derby clash and the barbs are already flying between the fierce A-League rivals.
The clash is expected to be a sell-out with over 40,000 fans filling Allianz Stadium and Wanderers winger Youssouf Hersi says most of them will be wearing the away side’s red and black.
The Wanderers have won the two previous derbies at the Sky Blues’ home ground and Hersi feels Western Sydney’s vocal fans have played a part in that.
“We feel very confident when we go there and we have more supporters than Sydney FC in the stadium, so that gives you something extra,” he said.
“When you see the support’s like that, it’s like `wow’ and you look the other side and you see five people or something.”
All jokes aside, Wanderers fans need to ensure their passion doesn’t spill over, with the club facing a three-point penalty if they don’t behave.
Football Federation Australia imposed the suspended penalty in the wake of fan violence after a match at Melbourne Victory earlier this season.
There was also violence in Parramatta ahead of the Sydney derby in March last year.
Meanwhile, Wanderers fans also face hefty fines from the Asian confederation after lighting flares at last week’s Asian Champions League match at Parramatta Stadium.
Sydney FC goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic is confident Allianz Stadium will be painted Sky Blue and says his side is more driven than ever to deliver their supporters a win to ensure they don’t lose faith in what’s been another frustrating campaign for the fans.
“Every week they inspire us, they come out and support us and do everything for us,” he said.
“So for us to give them three points in any game is big but we want to do it this week especially for them because they need it us much as we do.
“So the more noise they can create tomorrow, the better.”
Of the five derbies so far, Sydney have only managed one win with the Wanderers snatching victory in both encounters this season.
But the margin has never been bigger than two goals and Saturday’s clash is expected to be just as tight, with Sydney desperate to hang on their top-six spot with only six games remaining.
The Wanderers, meanwhile, want to rebound from a lacklustre display in last week’s 2-0 loss to Newcastle as they attempt to close the gap with top-placed Brisbane, who are seven points clear.
Coach Tony Popovic will lose Socceroos centre-back Matthew Spiranovic to suspension, with skipper Michael Beauchamp to take his place, while striker Tomi Juric looks likely to come back from injury.