Preview: Sydney FC v Suwon Bluewings
Sydney finished the A-League season in impressive form with an eight-game unbeaten run but will have to go up another step against the Koreans.
Date: Wednesday March 2 Kick-off: 8:00pm AEDT Venue: Sydney Football Stadium
Television: Live and exclusive on Fox Sports
Head-to-head The two clubs have never played before
The Road to the ACL Sydney FC: 2010 A-League champions Suwon Bluewings: 2010 Korean FA Cup winners
Past five matches:
Sydney FC: Melbourne Heart 2-2 Sydney FC, AAMI Park Sydney FC 2-0 Wellington Phoenix, SFS Newcastle 1-1 Sydney FC, EnergyAustralia Stadium Perth Glory 0-2 Sydney FC, nib Stadium Central Coast 2-2 Sydney FC, Bluetongue Stadium
Suwon: No matches in 2011
Selection Sydney FC have a full squad to chose from with every player fit and available. Coach Vitezslav Lavicka is likely to throw new signing David Williams straight into his side in attack alongside Brazilian Bruno Cazarine with marquee man Nicky Carle to play just behind the front two. With Korean defender Sung-Hwan Byun left out of the squad, Shannon Cole and Scott Jamieson will be the fullbacks with Lavicka to decide whether to split the central defensive pairing of Matt Jurman and Stephan Keller to include Andrew Durante. Skipper Terry McFlynn, Stuart Musialik and Hiro Moriyasu are likely to make up the midfield.
It's hard to get a gauge on Suwon who have yet to play a competitive match in 2011. They do possess a squad laden with talent, with four members of South Korea's Asian Cup squad in their starting line-up. Goalkeeper Jung Sung Ryong, defender Hwang Jae Won, midfielder Lee Yong Rae and striker Yeom Gi Hoon all joined the club in the off-season to add a touch more quality to their side. Coach Yoon Sung Hyo also has Brazilian duo Wando and Bergson at his disposal.
Analysis Sydney finished the A-League season in impressive form with an eight-game unbeaten run but will have to go up another step against the Koreans. Despite finishing seventh in the league last season Suwon have recruited well and have big plans for this tournament.
The key for the Sky Blues will be winning their home games. In their first ACL campaign Sydney only manage a draw with Uruwa Red Diamonds at the SFS which ultimately cost them progression to the knockout phase. Uruwa went through as group winners and went on to win the whole thing. Sydney also have the advantage of coming into the group stage match fit and hardened after the A-League season while Suwon have only been playing pre-season friendlies.
The acquisition's of David Williams and Andrew Durante adds a touch more quality and depth to the Sydney squad and Nicky Carle looks to finally be injury free and working towards his top form. Carle will have a big role to play with his ability to unlock defences with a piece of skill or a deft pass vital, especially in tight matches.
The Sky Blues have said they want to win all their home matches to take the pressure off on the road but it's imperative they don't start the group stage with a defeat. They may not say it publicly but a point would be a good result and wouldn't hurt their chances of progressing beyond the group stage for the first time.
Sydney FC Liam Reddy, Sebastian Ryall, Stephan Keller, Hirofumi Moriyasu, Brendan Gan, Stuart Musialik, Bruno Cazarine, Nicky Carle, David Williams, Shannon Cole, Terry McFlynn, Kofi Danning, Mark Bridge, Ivan Necevski, Scott Jamieson, Matthew Jurman, Dimitri Petratos, Joel Chianese, Jared Lum, Blake Powell, Nathan Sherlock, Rhyan Grant, Dylan Mitchell, Luke Austin, Andrew Durante.
Suwon Bluewings Jung Sung Ryong, Kim Dae Hwan, Kwon Tae Ahn, Nertljak Mato, Yang Sang Min, Oh Beom Seok, Woo Seung Jae, Hwang Jae Won, Choi Sung Hwan, Kwak Hee Ju, Kim Seung Min, Min Sang Ji, Heo Cheng San, Lee Yong Rae, Lee Sang Ho, Oh Jang Eun, Lee Kyung Hwan, Hong Soon Hak, Cho Ji Hun, Baek Ji Hoon, Yang Joon, Im Kyung Hyun, Wando, Choi Sung Kuk, Bergson, Lee Hyun Jin, Park Jong Jin, Yeom Gi Hoon, Ha Tae Goon.