Sydney FC have three games left to define their season - can they make the finals? Have your say now.
Sydney FC have three games left to define their season - can they make the finals? Tell us what you think below.
Yes, Sydney will do it With Melbourne Victory all but out of finals reckoning it-s up to Sydney FC to fly the flag for the two teams who have always claimed to be the biggest in the Hyundai A- League.
This season has produced plenty of big moments, none more so than back in week 9 when Sydney brilliantly and emphatically ended Brisbane Roar-s 36-match winning streak at a wet and wild WIN Jubilee Stadium.
It may have taken a freakish corner from Brett Emerton to give the Sky Blues the win, but that game was Sydney at their best and it wasn-t the first time they had the A-League-s benchmark side on toast this year.
Just last week Sydney led Central Coast Mariners right till the death and again showed they can still match it with the best in the competition, but a lucky late goal to Troy Hearfield denied them the three points they deserved.
Some might say this means Sydney can-t see out a game but perhaps they are just unlucky and due some big moments. And what could be a bigger than an unlikely finals run?
It-s not like they don-t have the players to do it. Brett Emerton oozes quality and determination, while Nicky Carle has had his best season in years and has been rewarded with a return to the Qantas Socceroos.
In Chianese, the Sky Blues also finally seem to have found a player who can find the net with regularity, and though he has just two goals in his four starts, he has increasingly looked to be settling into the team.
At the other end of the park Ivan Necevski has been a revelation since coming into the side for the under-performing Liam Reddy.
Sydney-s challenge is to inflict yet more pain on Melbourne Victory this weekend, then beat the Heart and the Jets over the final rounds, the two teams directly above them on the ladder. The Sky Blues- fate is in their own hands.
They have split results with the Jets this season for one win apiece and given the big names in the Sydney squad compared to the Jets- band of misfits should account for them before the big game experience of the Sydney squad accounts for the inexperienced Heart.
Sydney are yet to miss the finals in consecutive years and want to farewell outgoing coach Vitezslav Lavicka in style. The Sky Blues will prove the doubters wrong and make the six - at the expense of Melbourne Heart.
No, Sydney will fail Who are you kidding? Sydney have been in a state all season, dogged by stale tactics and inconsistency. The finals are just a pipe dream.
Firstly, their squad just isn-t strong enough. Emerton, while providing a certain maturity and determination, is no match-winner. Nick Carle has looked back to his best this season but with limited options in front of him, with Sydney-s paucity of good strikers particularly embarrassing, there-s only so much he can do.
The defence has struggled as well, with only Pascal Bosschaart achieving any kind of consistency, while Michael Beauchamp and Jamie Coyne have failed to make much of an impression.
You can-t doubt their desire but despite a sprinkling of quality, the Sydney squad has again failed to live up to hope or expectation.
And let-s look at their final fixtures. Quite apart from the fact that they-re dependent on other teams screwing up at the crucial point of the season, Sydney-s form leaves a lot to be desired.
Coming into this weekend, their recent record reads LWWLD; they-ve drawn both their previous games against Victory this season, beat the Jets in Newcastle but got pumped 5-2 at home just a few weeks ago, and have drawn with Heart before losing 4-0 in Sydney. It doesn-t exactly inspire confidence.
No, Sydney won-t make the finals this year - and they don-t deserve to, not by a long shot.