Graham Arnold believes Western Sydney Wanderers won’t even force a save out of Sydney FC goalkeeper Danny Vukovic when the clubs meet on Saturday night.
Sydney and the Wanderers will go head to head for the second time this season, with the first meeting between the two ending in a thumping 4-0 win for the Sky Blues.
The Wanderers have won just two matches for the season and have scored 17 goals – half that of their city rivals – and Arnold believes that will not change any time soon.
Despite losing Matthew Jurman, who has departed for South Korea, and Seb Ryall who has suffered a hamstring injury, Arnold moved to ease concerns over Sydney’s back line, praising young stars set to earn their chance on the biggest stage.
“Our defence starts from the front, we’ve got a brick wall, we’ve conceded seven goals in 14 games and again our defence starts from the front, we’ve had many games where Danny Vukovic hasn’t had to make a save and the same will happen on Saturday night,” Arnold said.
“We’ve got some fantastic under-20 kids, Patrick Flottmann and George Timotheou who are international players. They’ve been waiting for their chance for a long, long time.
“They’ve worked extremely hard in training. They’re part of the youth team that won six trophies last year. They’re very successful in what they do.
“Brandon O’Neill played in the back line showing what he can do, Aaron Calver is back who’s got a lot of experience in the A-League for his age.”
Sydney have been strongly linked to out of favour Perth Glory defender Rhys Williams as a replacement for Jurman, and Arnold admitted he would be happy to welcome the Socceroo.
“It seems that Rhys is unhappy. It’s clear he’s not playing over there and for me Rhys is a national team player,” he added.
“Would we like to have him? If they don’t want him we’d love to have him, but it’s out of our hands.”