Sydney ready for Shanghai test
Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka has scoffed at suggestions his side will be underdone for their vital AFC Champions League clash with Shanghai Shenhua on Wednesday night.
Sydney FC coach Vitezslav Lavicka has scoffed at suggestions his side will be underdone for their vital AFC Champions League clash with Shanghai Shenhua on Wednesday night, insisting his players are ready to secure the win that could boost their hopes of a spot in the knockout stages of the tournament.
The Sky Blues haven't played a competitive game in over a month since their match day one stalemate with Suwon Bluewings on March 2.
The devastating earthquake and Tsunami in Japan saw the Sky Blues' second group match against J-League club Kashima Antlers - set down for March 16 - postponed.
In contrast, Wednesday's opponents Shanghai have already played their second ACL match, as well as a domestic game in the Chinese Super League.
The danger is Sydney may be short of a run against Shanghai but Lavicka doesn't see it that way."
"Everybody is ready to play, I'm happy we have had a lot of time to do good training sessions and the boys have done well," Lavicka said on Monday.
"We've had some practice games between us at training as well as games against (NSW) state league teams to keep the game practice up."
"We're physically and mentally ready to go now."
"It's been a strange situation with the last ACL game early in March but we're ready to play and the players are looking forward to getting a good result and also a good performance."
The result is vital to Sydney's chances of progressing through the group stage of the tournament for the first time, after only managing a draw in their opening game at home against Suwon.
This is the first of two home games in a week for the Sky Blues, with Kashima visiting next week, before three away games to end the group stage.
It's widely felt that Lavicka's side must win their next two home games if they are serious about finishing in one of the top two spots in the group.
"A lots been made about it but we've still got five game left in the group and now from my time in Adelaide you can win away from home," defender Scott Jamieson said.
"It's not do or die."
"But obviously you do want to win your homes games so hopefully we can get a good result."
Sydney have no injury concerns ahead of the match, with sipper Terry McFlynn the only player unavailable after he was sent off in the opening game against Suwon.