Popovic heaps pressure on Sky Blues

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic admitted it's been difficult for his players to ignore the hype surrounding Saturday's first Sydney derby, but was quick to point out it's their local rivals who will be feeling the pressure.

Wanderers coach Tony Popovic admitted it's been difficult for his players to ignore the hype surrounding Saturday's first Sydney derby, but was quick to point out it's their local rivals who will be feeling the pressure.

The Sky Blues are without a point after suffering back-to-back losses against Wellington and Newcastle, while the Wanderers' opening round draw with Central Coast means they're above Sydney on the ladder.

Popovic was quick to point out Sydney's faltering start ahead of the much-anticipated clash at a sold-out Parramatta Stadium.

"They're a side that's expected to be challenging for the title and I'm sure they wouldn't be happy with the points return they have," Popovic said on Friday.

"When you've got (Alessandro) Del Piero, (Brett) Emerton, you're at a club that's expected to win things.

"So they come into this game knowing that they need a result - they'll certainly want one.

"They're the pressures that you get when you're a team that a lot is expected from. It will certainly be a tough game for them."

Sydney's marquee signing Alessandro Del Piero has shown his class in the opening two games of the league, but Popovic insists they haven't prepared any differently for him.

"He's an outstanding player," Popovic said.

"If he has a great game tomorrow I've got no problem with that, as long as we come out on top."

Wanderers captain Michael Beauchamp said it would be risky to focus only on Del Piero, but he admitted he'll certainly be a bit more careful not to give away any free kicks within goal-scoring range.

"I've seen the one (he scored) last week so you definitely want to be careful there," Beauchamp said.

"Hopefully we won't be giving him too many opportunities to do that."