Crook predicts derby dog fight

Sydney FC coach Ian Crook admits sticking to a game plan in Saturday's local derby against the Wanderers will be almost impossible as structure makes way for white-hot passion.

Sydney FC coach Ian Crook admits sticking to a game plan in Saturday's local derby against the Wanderers will be almost impossible as structure makes way for white-hot passion.

Crook has had the Sky Blues working overtime on a controlled, short passing game at training ahead of the first Harbour City derby but concedes the match is likely to be decided on good old-fashioned guts and hunger.

Having played in plenty of derbies at Norwich and Tottenham, the Sydney boss acknowledges emotions will be running high at Parramatta Stadium.

"It all depends on how you handle the emotion as a player. You are told what to do and then the emotion of a derby ... you start flying around everywhere," Crook said when asked about local derby tactics.

"AC Milan-Inter Milan, Liverpool-Everton, Arsenal and Spurs ... all derbies are dog fights and I'm not expecting anything different.

"I think you'll see on the weekend that it will be a full-blooded affair."

The inaugural all-Sydney clash is a sell-out, with Crook declaring that a strong sign of the city's hunger for football.

"Sydney needs a derby. We've had a free run for a few years now and we need to embrace this," he said.

"Even though it's a new rivalry, it's really been building the last couple of years.

"Now it's come to fruition and we can't wait."

The Wanderers sit a place above winless Sydney after a draw and loss to start the campaign.

Crook admires what the new franchise has achieved in a short space of time.

"We're expecting them to be a well-organised, well-drilled side," he said.

"I've been very impressed with them over the first two games."

Defender Pascal Boschaart added: "There will be a lot of old teammates so I'm really looking forward to it.

"A derby in Sydney is great. Something special always happens in a derby.

"This is an exciting game for us and the competition."