Mark Rudan will put sentimentality aside when his Wellington Phoenix venture across the Tasman to meet Sydney FC on Saturday.
The affectionately known 'Big Blue Man' is now in charge of Phoenix and plotting his former club's demise in an important Round 7 encounter.
Though ninth on the ladder, Wellington are just a point outside the top six following an encouraging 1-1 draw with leaders Perth Glory in which Roy Krishna became the club's all-time top scorer.
They can also take hope from Sydney FC's most recent result at Jubilee Stadium, when a big crowd packed in to see Melbourne Victory prevail 2-1.
Steve Corica's side bounced back to winning ways with a gritty reverse of that scoreline against Central Coast Mariners last time out.
Adam Le Fondre's penalty and a Brandon O'Neill bullet completed the turnaround in Gosford and Corica will be expecting more of the same as the Sky Blues seek to stay in touch with leaders Perth Glory.
Key Opta stats
- Sydney FC is undefeated in their last six Hyundai A-League games against Wellington (W5, D1); their last loss against the Phoenix came in March 2016 (3-1 at Allianz Stadium).
- Wellington Phoenix have picked up just one point from their last eight away games in the Hyundai A-League.
- The Sky Blues are one of just two teams (Melbourne City) yet to concede a goal within the first 15 minutes of either half this season.
Ins and Outs
Sydney FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 2.Aaron CALVER, 4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Jop van der LINDEN, 6.Josh BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Paulo RETRE, 9.Adam LE FONDRE, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Daniel DE SILVA, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 20.Alex CISAK (gk), 21.Charles LOKOLI-NGOY, 22.Siem DE JONG, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 24.Cam DEVLIN, 31. Luke IVANOVIC.
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 11.Daniel DE SILVA (return from unavailability due to loan agreement), 22.Siem DE JONG (return from injury)
Unavailable: 3.Ben WARLAND (foot – 3 weeks), 12.Trent BUHAGIAR (ACL – indefinite), 19.Chris ZUVELA (knee – indefinite)
Wellington Phoenix Squad: 4.Mandi SOSA, 6.Dylan FOX, 8.Mitch NICHOLS, 9.Nathan BURNS, 11.David WILLIAMS, 13.Liberato CACACE, 14.Alex RUFER, 15.Michal KOPZCYNSKI, 16.Louis FENTON, 18.Sarpreet SINGH, 19.Tom DOYLE, 20.Oliver SAIL (gk), 21.Roy KRISHNA, 22.Andrew DURANTE (c), 23.Max BURGESS, 27.Steven TAYLOR, 30.Zac JONES (gk) 40.Ante Covic (gk)
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 6.Dylan FOX (promoted) 8.Mitch NICHOLS (promoted) 19.Tom DOYLE (promoted) 30.Zac JONES (promoted) 40.Ante COVIC (gk) (new signing – injury replacement)
Outs: 1.Filip KURTO (gk) (injured - 1 week), 3.Reuben WAY (not selected), 5.Ryan LOWRY (suspended -1 week)
How to watch
Tune in to FOX SPORTS 505 at 5:35pm AEDT to find out whether Wellington can upset the Sky Blues, or catch it on the MyFootball Live App, live, fast and data-free for Telstra mobile customers. International viewers in countries without a broadcasting rights holder can watch via the My Football YouTube channel.
Don't miss out on a spot at the picturesque Jubilee Stadium! Purchase your tickets here.