He rates the Big Blue as the "biggest game in Australia" but Sydney FC's in-form Serbian playmaker Milos Ninkovic insists it's business as usual for the unbeaten Sky Blues as they face an Australia Day showdown with rivals Melbourne Victory tonight.
Graham Arnold’s side head into the blockbuster Australia Day clash at Etihad Stadium eight points clear of Melbourne Victory and expecting a fired-up display from the wounded hosts.
But it’s something the Sky Blues have got used to from opposition teams this season, as they maintain their bid to become the Hyundai A-League’s first ‘Invincibles’.
“It’s a big game, maybe the biggest game in Australia,” Ninkovic said on the eve of the clash.
“It’s going to be a tough game, Melbourne Victory are a very good team, they have very good players but we want to show a performance we have been showing all this season.”
The Serbian added: “It’s a big game but for us it’s a normal game. We know everyone wants to beats us and everyone gives more than 100% to beat us.
“We need to prepare that and to play like we have all season. That’s the key.”
There are some intriguing match-ups all over the park but it’s the battle of the free-scoring front-fours which could decide who emerges with the three points.
Victory’s attack of Besart Berisha (13), James Troisi (3), Marco Rojas (10) and Fahid Ben Khalfallah (1) have contributed 27 of their side’s 36 goals so far this season.
But that’s bettered by Sydney’s front four – Bobo (7), Alex Brosque (9), Filip Holosko (5) and Ninkovic (7) – with 28.
As well as his superb goal return, Ninkovic has also chipped in with eight assists – a Hyundai A-League high – underlining his importance to the Sky Blues side.
“I feel great…but the whole team has played good, not just me,” he said.
“As a team we look much, much better than last year.
“It’s going to be a tough game because they have a lot of good players. It’s going to be interesting for the fans but I expect if we play like we can I think we can take three points from Melbourne,” the 32-year-old added.