As Vitezslav Lavicka looks to end his spell in Sydney with silverware, can his men take a step towards finals Glory with a win over Perth?
As Vitezslav looks to end his spell in Sydney with silverware, can his men take a step towards finals Glory with a win over Perth?
The times might be a-changing at Sydney Football Stadium, but, while Vitezslav Lavicka will bid an emotional farewell to the club he loves at the end of the season, all eyes remain very much focused on the prize.
After all, what better way to say goodbye than by leading his troops to another triumph? This is a man who knows how to achieve just that, having masterminded a dramatic double in his first season at the helm a couple of years ago.
While the Premier's Plate is out of reach this time round, the Sky Blues are still very much in contention for a top six finish and a crack at Grand Final success. So be sure to show your full support once again this week, by filling Sydney Football Stadium with noise as your side aims to right the wrongs of last weekend and get back into the top six.
The Cove will be looking for a positive reaction from their players as, last week in the New South Wales derby against Newcastle, they conceded five at home for the first time.
A disastrous first-half saw the Sky Blues fall three behind, yet, as they have done on numerous occasions, they showed incredible spirit to fight back in the second period. Goals from Hirofumi Moriyasu and Michael Beauchamp reduced the arrears and really got the home crowd excited. However, as Sydney pushed for an equaliser, Newcastle picked them off with two late strikes.
Still, the Sky Blues will go into this weekend's clash confident enough. After all, they have yet to lose to Glory in the Hyundai A-League 2011/12 season. Mark Bridge in particular, will be looking forward to the match as he has single-handedly terrorised Perth.
In Week Six, he was the hero, starting and finishing the move which led to the only goal of the game at nib Stadium. Then, less than a month ago, he was again on target in the rearranged fixture in Campbelltown. While Glory were unable to respond to Bridge's strike in their own back yard, in New South Wales they fought back to gain a valuable point thanks to a late header from Adam Hughes.
Glory will be hoping for an away day similar to their last outing, when they smashed Adelaide United 3-0 at Hindmarsh Stadium. A clinical first-half strike from Shane Smeltz, a Steven McGarry tap-in and a Liam Miller goal did the damage and kept the Western Australians on course for a top-six finish.
Having taken four points from a possible six against Perth this season, the Sky Blues will be aiming to continue their good form against their ladder rivals, but after last week's nightmare at Sydney Football Stadium, they'll need your help to do it. So, Sydney Cove, get ready to make massive noise as things head towards the business end of the campaign!