Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold has had a playful jibe at Western Sydney Wanderers FC’s association with fast food giant McDonald's ahead of Saturday night’s Sydney derby at Allianz Stadium.
The Wanderers announced a unique promotional deal this week with the restaurant chain.
A meal deal at the restaurant will be named after the Hyundai A-League powerhouse.
"The Wanderers meal" includes chicken nuggets, a quarter pounder burger, large fries and a large soft drink and will be sold at all 88 McDonald's outlets in the greater western Sydney region as part of a year-long deal.
While it's proof of the growing popularity of the game and the club, health experts have questioned the club for their association with a meal that has over 6400 kilojoules.
The meal accounts for almost 75 per cent of an average adult recommended kilojoule intake and 70 per cent for children.
Arnold was happy to play along with that theme on Thursday, insisting the Sky Blues have a different view of things.
“We’re very healthy breed over here in Sydney in the inner city,” he told www.a-league.com.au with a wry smile.
While that was a lighthearted taunt to their local rivals, the niceties are likely to end there ahead of Saturday night’s blockbuster derby.
Arnold admits he’s excited about his first taste of the Sydney derby and expects the Wanderers to bounce back hard from their embarrassing 4-1 defeat to Melbourne Victory last weekend.
But he believes Tony Popovic’s troops may already have their eye on next week’s historic AFC Champions League final first leg against Al Hilal.
“I’ve been in those positions before and definitely it’s a big distraction,” Arnold said.
“You’ve got one eye on next week and knowing you’ve got a big game in front of you and you don’t want to get injured.
“Players don’t want to get injured and miss those types of occasions. It can be a big distraction.”
The Sky Blues have been given a huge boost for the match, with marquee man Mark Janko a certain starter after arriving back early this week from international duty with Austria.
Bernie Ibini, fresh from his Socceroos debut in the Middle East, trained with the squad on Thursday and is available while Shane Smeltz has shrugged off injury to be back in the squad.
Midfielder Ali Abbas arrives back from duty with Iraq on Thursday night and will be assessed over the next couple of days.
“It’s not hard for players to get up, even if they are a bit fatigued,” Arnold said.
“You go away with the national team, you come back with a bit of a buzz and the adrenaline kicks in, a big game like this it won’t be a problem with fatigue.”
Arnold revealed Corey Gameiro picked up a calf strain last weekend but said he’s a 90 percent chance to line-up against the Wanderers.
Early on Thursday only 700 tickets remained, with Sydney officials confident the match will likely sell-out on Friday.