Sydney FC, WSW out to showcase Australian football

Showcasing the quality of Australian football is high on the agenda for Graham Arnold and Tony Popovic as they prepare their teams to face Premier League heavyweights Arsenal this week.

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Arnold’s Sydney FC are first to face the Gunners at ANZ Stadium on Thursday night (July 13) before another full house is expected on Saturday (July 15) for the Wanderers-Arsenal encounter.

HUGE OCCASION FOR THE WANDERERS

While Sydney FC have played the likes of Chelsea, Tottenham and Liverpool in the past, this will be Western Sydney’s first clash against glamour European opposition.

“It’s very early in our preseason but a game like this always helps the players, and to test themselves against the best,” Popovic said.

“For a lot of our young players they’ll be coming up against their idols and they get a chance to showcase themselves and showcase Australian football.

“Hopefully both clubs [Wanderers and Sydney FC] can show Arsenal how football has progressed in this country and hopefully they’ll take away fond memories of their time here.”

ARNIE'S ADMIRATION FOR THE GUNNERS

Sky Blues boss Graham Arnold will be doing his best to beat the Gunners on Thursday night but he admits he’s a fan of the way they play the game.

“Arsenal is a club that a lot of football coaches in Australia would look at and admire the way they play, he said.

“In a lot of ways we try to replicate what they do in the way they play the game.

“We know it will be a massive crowd and there will probably be more Arsenal fans than Sydney FC but it’s for the good of the game in this country.

“We played Liverpool not that long ago and there was 80,000 people there. To get the clubs like Arsenal to come out and promote football in our country is big for us."