Western Sydney Wanderers coach Tony Popovic believes that an opening round blockbuster against cross-town rivals Sydney FC will drive his side to win their first ever round-one victory.
The Wanderers have not won an opening-round fixture since their inception in 2012 and have not defeated Sydney for almost two and a half years. A record crowd is expected at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night in the excess of 60,000.
Popovic is optimistic about ending their recent hoodoo.
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“It would be very nice to win a Sydney derby, it would also be nice to win a round-one game – we’ve never done that before. It will be different and exciting at Homebush with an amazing crowd.” He said.
“I think we’ll still be slow starters in terms of performance, but we’d like to get some more results early on as we’re evolving and getting better. Maybe the derby is the trigger we need to win a round-one game.”
Popovic will be without captain Nikolai Topor-Stanley through suspension after his red card in the FFA Cup against Melbourne City.