Weekly Warm Up: Sydney FC v Central Coast Mariners

Get ready for a stunning Sunday in Sydney as the Sky Blues and the Mariners contest another New South Wales derby!

Get ready for a stunning Sunday in Sydney as the Sky Blues and the Mariners contest another New South Wales derby!

What a way for Sydney Football Stadium to kick off 2012! It's one of the most mouth-watering New South Wales derbies in recent memory, as two sides with their eyes firmly on the prize go toe-to-toe on Sunday afternoon. There is certain to be a big crowd in attendance for this highly-anticipated match, so make sure you are part of a great atmosphere and a thrilling occasion by securing your ticket today!

And the Sky Blues owe their loyal followers a result after what happened the last time they turned out at Sydney Football Stadium. In front of their biggest crowd of the campaign so far - over 16,000 extremely vocal fans - Sydney fell apart, losing the big clash 4-0. To be fair, the hosts played very well early on, before goals from youngster Eli Babalj and Mate Dugandzic separated the teams at half-time. Any hopes of Sydney's trademark fightback were extinguished by a second-half strike from substitute Jason Hoffman and then Liam Reddy's absolute howler, which gifted Alex Terra a fourth. Still, the Harbour City's faithful army of football fans sang loyally until the final whistle, but the boos which greeted it will have left the players in no doubt that they must do better in the similarly huge match-up this weekend. Expect a much improved performance. The Sky Blues are ready to get back to winning ways at SFS!

Mariners, meanwhile will be hoping for the same outcome to the one they achieved when they visited Sydney Football Stadium in Week Seven. What a performance Graham Arnold's men put in against their local adversaries. After a cracking free-kick from star import Patrick Zwaanswijk almost burst the net, a neat finish from Michael McGlinchey gave them a commanding 2-0 lead. From then, they went on to display the kind of mental toughness a team needs if they are to be champions, as their opponents set about fighting back. If Nicky Carle's header gave Mariners the wobbles, they didn't show it in the slightest. Instead, they simply marched up the other end and restored their two-goal advantage through Troy Hearfield. In a night of great free-kicks, Brett Emerton's first Hyundai A-League goal for Sydney - a beauty into the top corner - set up a grandstand finish, but some dogged defending ensured the points were heading back to the Central Coast along with their massed ranks of joyous fans.

Whatever the outcome on Sunday, this game is sure to be a thriller, as two fine footballing sides play for local bragging rights and, more importantly, vital Hyundai A-League points! The Yellow Army are certain to make the short journey to Sydney Football Stadium in big numbers, so it's up to The Cove to make enough noise to drown their chants out. Get ready for cracking derby action amid a loud, intense atmosphere. This one is simply not to be missed.