McFlynn back for Sydney

Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka has declared key midfielder Terry McFlynn a certain starter ahead of Monday's crucial clash against Central Coast Mariners at the SFS.

Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka has declared key midfielder Terry McFlynn a certain starter ahead of Monday's crucial clash against Central Coast Mariners at the SFS.

McFlynn, the A-League's newest father following the arrival of a baby girl on Thursday, has been sidelined since Round 5 with a thigh injury.

Lavicka welcomed the Northern Irishman's return admitting his energy and aggression have been sorely missed in recent weeks.

"Yes we are happy of course, Terry's an important part of our team and he started full training this week with the team and he's ready to play on Monday," Lavicka enthused.

Central defender Stephan Keller is also expected to return from a calf injury while marquee striker John Aloisi remains a 50-50 proposition to overcome the knee injury that has kept him out of the previous two matches.

"Hard to say in this moment," Lavicka said of Aloisi.

"Johnny still has a special program with the physio and fitness coach."

Skipper Steve Corica played down Aloisi's potential absence insisting his side is anything but a one-man band.

"It's not just about Johnny," Corica said.

"He hasn't trained much this week so we just do our job and get on with it. We're here every day training and whatever players are fit will be there for the weekend."

The Sky Blues share top spot with Gold Coast United and Perth Glory heading into Round 9, but with the first seven teams separated by just two points, the captain stressed the importance of picking up a win against the Mariners.

"It's definitely a must win (game), we're at home and we need to pick up three points," he said.

"Obviously there's a lot of teams around us so we need to start winning from now on."

Meanwhile, the veteran lamented his side's inability to take their opportunities in Sunday's 1-0 loss at the hands of Brisbane Roar.

"I think defensively we've looked very good and against Brisbane last week we created a lot of chances we just didn't take them," he said.

"Sometimes that happens in football and you've just got to get on with it. It could be a totally different story this weekend."

But he knows breaking down a Mariners defence that has conceded just four goals in 720 minutes of football this season won't be an easy task.

"They've worked very hard on their defence," Corica said.

"They were very much a counter-attacking team last year and very spread out."

"They conceded a lot of goals last year and they've worked on that this year and they're doing very well defensively."

Monday's clash will mark Sydney FC's 100th appearance in the A-League.

"Obviously it's a special game for us, we played them (Mariners) in the grand final in the first year and pretty much from then on we've had a great rivalry with them so it's nice to be playing them in the 100th game for Sydney," Corica added.