French defender Jacques Faty will miss Saturday's clash with Perth Glory in the Hyundai A-League after returning to France this week for personal reasons, revealed Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold.
"I don't want to go into it. It's for personal reasons and he'll be back in the country on Saturday ready for the Wellington game," Arnold told reporters on Thursday.
"It's a blow to lose his leadership, so other players will have to step up this weekend in the leadership role that Jacques is so good at but I've got 100 per cent faith in everyone.”
Thursday’s training session took on extra special significance for defenders Seb Ryall and Zac Anderson, who are fighting it out for a central defensive spot against Glory in place of the Frenchman.
Anderson has yet to feature for the Sky Blues since joining them in the off-season from Central Coast Mariners.
The versatile Ryall played the first five games of the season at right-back before losing his spot to Rhyan Grant in the loss to Melbourne Victory last weekend.
Sydney also welcomes back Andrew Hoole and Chris Naumoff back into their squad, after the duo missed last weekend away on international duty with the Olyroos.
Arnold says Saturday’s clash with Perth Glory will be as much a battle of the minds as the football, with scorching conditions expected at nib Stadium.
A heatwave will hit the west this weekend, with temperatures tipped to reach 35 degrees celsius on Saturday.
With the round 7 Hyundai A-League clash to kick-off at 4.30pm local time, it’s going to present a huge challenge for the players of both sides.
The Sky Blues got a taste of what to expect at training on Thursday, Arnold putting his squad through a gruelling session in 30 degree celsius heat at their Macquarie base.
"It's more of a psychological battle than anything in those types of conditions," the Sky Blues boss told reporters.
"No doubt the doctors over there and FFA will keep a close watch on the heat factor for the players. But it's been the same here in Sydney this week, so it's decent preparation for what we're going to be up against.
"It's probably going to be down to who can keep the ball the best. If we can keep the ball and then run, then hopefully they'll run out of legs."