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Arnie may punt on youth for A-League derby

NZ Newswire logoNZ Newswire 11/01/2017 Adrian Warren

Sydney FC captain Alex Brosque believes his coach Graham Arnold may consider throwing an untested young central defender into the cauldron of an A-League derby game on Saturday.

Unbeaten ladder leaders Sydney have lost two experienced central defenders in just over a week, heading into Saturday's Allianz Stadium blockbuster against Western Sydney, with Matt Jurman going overseas and Seb Ryall injured.

While Arnold has talked about bringing in a European import, it now looks unlikely that will happen in time for this weekend's match.

Brandon O'Neill was shifted into the centre of defence after Ryall's injury, but with Josh Brillante suspended, he my be required in his normal midfield role.

Arnold's options include under 20 internationals Patrick Flottman and George Timotheou, who have both yet to play a senior game, and the slightly more experienced Aaron Calver.

"It will be a good opportunity for Arnie to throw in one of the young boys," Brosque said.

"Arnie has been known to do that in the past, throw players in that he feels are ready and there are three or four good young players, defenders that are ready to go, that have been waiting."

Sydney could face two of their former players in two recent Wanderers recruits, goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic and midfielder Terry Antonis.

"As a mate of his (Janjetovic), I'm just glad he's happy again, that he's playing," Brosque said.

"Antonis going there as well, that was a surprise, it came out of nowhere, but good luck to him as well."

Wanderers haven't beaten Sydney for three years, losing six and drawing two of their eight encounters over that time.

Asked how much it hurt personally to have not played in a derby win Wanderers captain Dimas said "a lot."

"Our supporters, they are always with us and hopefully we can celebrate after the match," he said.

Wanderers are in seventh spot with just two victories and haven't won in their last five games, but the skipper's faith in his team's style remains unshakeable.

"So far we have two wins, but in many games we deserved a lot more," Dimas said.

"We have no worries about our performance or our football. We believe in our football."

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