Big names in frame for Sydney Derby

Western Sydney Wanderers FC coach Tony Popovic won’t mind having a selection headache for this weekend’s Sydney derby with three additional players set to come into calculations.

Defender Nikolai Topor-Stanley, currently on Socceroos duty, along with new signings Seyi Adeleke and Nikita Rukavytsya are all set to be considered for the match at what will likely be a sold-out Allianz Stadium.

The Asian Champions League finalists were humbled by Melbourne Victory in the opening game of the Hyundai A-League season last weekend, but Popovic says a vastly different Wanderers side will be on show on Saturday night – and not just personnel wise.

“We haven’t made any excuses about where we’re at, we’ll just deal with it,” Popovic said onTuesday.

“Last week obviously wasn’t a good result for us but we’ll learn from that and certainly be better this week.”

Quizzed on who could force their way into the starting XI for the showdown with the Sky Blues, the Wanderers coach was non-committal on any changes but welcomed the options at his disposal.

“Topor we’ll have to wait and see; it’s a bit an unknown with him.

“We all hope that he plays tomorrow morning our time for Australia. He deserves that opportunity.

“If he plays we’ll have to assess him when he gets back.

“Nikita arrives tomorrow which is good news and Seyi’s doing his first session today so we’ll have to access them and see where they’re at.

With Sydney FC set to welcome back Bernie Ibini, Shane Smeltz and marquee Marc Janko from international duty it’s likely both sides will field vastly different forward lines this weekend.

Popovic added his side’s upcoming ACL final would not to a distraction and the lure of derby bragging rights would ensure his players would banish the result against Victory.

“Form doesn’t really matter too much [in a derby], they’re special games for both clubs and the fans.

We know what to expect. It will be a great occasion for our game and this week we’ll certainly play our part with the performance.” 

A-League fantasy.