Ryall or Cole? That's the question

Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka will make a last-minute decision on whether Sebastian Ryall or Shannon Cole fills the final available spot in the Sky Blues' defence ahead of Saturday's Grand Final against Melbourne.

Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka will make a last-minute decision on whether Sebastian Ryall or Shannon Cole fills the final available spot in the Sky Blues' defence ahead of Saturday's Grand Final against Melbourne.

Lavicka said at the official pre-match press conference on the eve of the game, that the only piece of the puzzle he hasn-t resolved is whether to start Ryall, who has Grand Final experience having played in Melbourne's win last year, or Cole, who has overcome a hamstring injury and is fit for the game.

"This is the last question mark regarding the starting line-up for tomorrow. We are yet to make a decision. That will probably happen tonight because we have a training session this afternoon. We will discuss it after that and make a final decision then," he said.

There will be at least one change to the Sydney XI from the team which defeated Wellington 4-2 last week with John Aloisi ruled out with a hamstring injury. Youngster Chris Payne is likely to be called in for the experienced striker.

The loss of Aloisi leaves Sydney without its most prolific goalscorer as well as captain Steve Corica.

But fellow marksman Alex Brosque doesn't think the veterans' absence will put more pressure on the Sydney attack.

"There's been times during the year where Johnny's been missing or Corica has been missing. Right through the squad we've got good cover to be able to replace those guys. They are big losses obviously, but you look at Payney last week, it was a match we had to win. He came on and scored a double," Brosque said.

"He didn't looked fazed, he didn-t look worried at all. He's a good young kid. I think he's ready to step up. There's pressure there, but it's a Grand Final. There's no added pressure because those two aren't there," he said.

Sydney will be led by experienced midfielder Terry McFlynn in Corica and Aloisi's absence. McFlynn and goalkeeper Clint Bolton will be the only two players on Saturday who played in the inaugural Hyundai A-League Grand Final in 2006.

The Northern Irishman said it was a great honour to get the chance to wear the captain's armband in such a massive match.

"It's a privilege and an honour for me to captain the club. It-s a big loss for us to go into the match without Steve and Johnny. They are both fantastic players and fantastic professionals," he said.

The skipper's contribution will be much more important than just his leadership, with McFlynn set to play a major role in trying to limit the influence of Johnny Warren Medallist Carlos Hernandez.

Hernandez has struggled with the attentions of McFlynn and Stuart Musialik on several occasions this season, and McFlynn is hoping he can keep Hernandez's influence to a minimum.

"He's fantastic player Carlos. He's proved that by winning numerous awards this year. But we'll just play our own game, and hopefully it's just good enough on the night," he said.