Preview: Sydney FC v Gold Coast United

It may come as a shock to many people, but Sydney and Gold Coast enter this game entrenched in the top six.

Sydney FC v Gold Coast United Date: Sunday, November 6 Kick-off: 5pm AEDT Venue: Sydney Football Stadium

Head-to-head Played: 6, Sydney 1, Gold Coast 4, Draws: 1

Previous encounter Sydney 2, Gold Coast 0, SFS, January 11, 2011

History: Somewhat surprisingly, Gold Coast have dominated this fixture since the teams first met at the start of the 2009/10 season. United won the first three encounters before Sydney finally gained a point in their fourth encounter. The Sky Blues broke through for a maiden victory when they defeated the boys from the Holiday Strip 2-0 back in January.

Form: Past four matches: Sydney: DLWD Gold Coast: DDLW

Summary of form:

Sydney have taken four points from a possible six over the past fortnight, beating Adelaide United before pinching a point from Melbourne Heart. It took a goal from Nicky Carle in injury time to secure a 1-1 draw with Heart. Some called it lucky while others preferred to focus on the fact the visitors kept punching away until the death.

Gold Coast took just two points from a possible nine and went into the fourth round feeling the heat. But a convincing 3-1 win over Newcastle has everybody feeling good about themselves up at Glamour City and they enter this game full of confidence. A quick look at the head-to-head contests with Sydney will only embolden United further.

Match Committee: Sydney FC skipper Terry McFlynn is rated a long shot after suffering a hip injury against Heart. But he has defied the medicos before so don't be surprised if he grabs the armband and heads out there. Hirofumi Moriyasu and Shannon Cole are back from injury but exciting youngster Terry Antonis is away on Young Socceroos duties. Zac Anderson, Ben Halloran and Daniel Bragg have been drafted into the Gold Coast squad.

Dangermen: Pascal Bosschaart - There is more than a faint sniff of Holland's Eredivisie wafting through this game, with Bosschaart lining up against Paul Beekmans and alongside ex-Feyenoord man Brett Emerton. Bosschaart has been a real find for Sydney, shoring up a defence that leaked more often than a Gillard minister last season. Nicky Carle is getting further forward and clearly relishing a more attacking role. Scoring goals and creating for others.

Paul Beekmans - The in-form Gold Coast midfielder joked that Brett Emerton may have to do his homework on him - rather than the other way around - before the pair meet in the middle of the SFS. The Dutchman is getting better with every outing in the Hyundai A-League, winning man-of-the-mach honours following his superb performance in the 3-1 win over Newcastle last start. Energetic in defence and attack, Beekmans played a part in two of the three goals. Emerton will know he's been in a game after tracking this fella for 90 minutes. Applause for Gold Coast defender Kristian Rees, who racks up game No.100 in the A-League.

At the end of the day… It may come as a shock to many people, but Sydney and Gold Coast enter this game entrenched in the top six. But you better believe it. After sluggish starts to their respective campaigns, both sides have got their acts together to make ground on the teams above. This should be a cracker of a game, with high quality players across the pitch. Sydney will start slight favourites to get the three points courtesy of home ground advantage.

Teams:

Sydney FC: 1. Liam Reddy, 2. Sebastian Ryall, 3. Jamie Coyne, 4. Pascal Bosschaart, 5. Michael Beauchamp, 6. Hirofumi Moriyasu, 7. Brett Emerton, 8. Karol Kisel, 9. Bruno Cazarine, 10. Nick Carle, 11. Dimi Petratos, 12. Shannon Cole, 15. Terry McFlynn (c), 19. Mark Bridge, 20. Ivan Necevski, 21. Scott Jamieson, 23. Rhyan Grant *two to be omitted*

Gold Coast United: 1.Glen Moss [Gk], 3.Michael Thwaite (C), 4.Zac Anderson, 5.Kristian Rees, 6.Paul Beekmans, 8.Robson, 12.Dylan Macallister, 14.Ben Halloran, 15.Adama Traore, 16.Maceo Rigters, 18.James Brown, 20.Jerrad Tyson [Gk], 21.Daniel Severino, 22.Peter Jungschlager, 23.Dylan Mcgowan, 27.Ambes Yosief, 29.Mitch Bevan, 31.Daniel Bragg. *three to be omitted*