Hosted by the riches of Guangzhou Evergrande, Sydney FC boss Graham Arnold has set about the same mantra of ruining the Chinese side’s party in the AFC Champions League on Tuesday night.
Accomplishing the feat at the Sydney Football Stadium, Arnold is hoping for more of the same from his side, as the Sky Blues come up against a Chinese side motivated by a large win bonus, while missing their international stars.
“My information is that Martinez is out injured, Paulinho is out suspended, they won’t play Goulart but they will play their Chinese players, all of them getting paid $40,000 US net for a win,” Arnold said.
“I would imagine we will be up against an extremely motivated Chinese side that, with 35,000 people there, and as current Asian Champions obviously hurting that they haven’t gotten through to the last 16, will be extremely motivated.
“That’s the difference in comparisons to the A-League [the $40,000 bonus].
“I’m not complaining, it’s the difference in leagues. When Guangzhou came to play us in Sydney they had a private aeroplane and a player had each room and that bonus as well and we did the job in Sydney so our mentality has to be go out and spoil their party.
“For us, we have to come here prepared and be at our best.”
Arnold confirmed Alex Brosque [injury] and Matt Simon [suspension] as the only absentees, as he said there was plenty of depth in the Sky Blues ranks following the departures of Ali Abbas and Mickael Tavares from the AFC Champions League squad.
“Everyone is good, we arrived Saturday night after obviously a 10 hour flight which was direct which was fine,” Arnold said.
“We trained yesterday, everyone is sharp, everyone is good, the only injury is Alex Brosque and Matty Simon being suspended, he’s still back at home. Other than that everyone is here and fresh.
“Rhyan Grant has done a fantastic job at left back during the season when we lost Alex Gersbach, and before Ali was fit,” he continued.
“David Carney, I coached him at national team [level] and he’s played for a couple of years at left fullback [for the Socceroos] as well so we do have the options there.
“You only can play with 11 and we’ve still got 20 players available, I still left two players at home. At the end of the day the more you have, the more you disappoint.”
Casting one eye to the AFC Champions League round of 16, Arnold said that while he still wants to finish first he’s not fazed by either side the Sky Blues can draw.
“With the two teams that we’re looking at, obviously FC Seoul and Shandong, there’s nothing between the two teams,” he said.
“They’re both very good teams and when you get to the last 16 there’s no easy games.
“Once you get to that stage it’s a much of the muchness, but it would be better to play away first and home second because then you know the result you’ve got to get and you’ve got the home crowd behind you.
“Saying that, I’ve had enough experience in Asia to know that Asian teams don’t like the pressure of playing the deciding or big game at home.
“A lot of Asian teams play better away from home without the pressure. We’ve got to go out with the mentality to win the game and whatever side I put out I’m confident will do the job.”