Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold has his side primed to beat Suwon Bluewings in South Korea.It’s now or never for Sydney FC, and coach Graham Arnold believes he has the right intel to return fire on Suwon Bluewings and stay in the Asian Champions League race.
The South Korean powerhouse started the Sky Blues’ continental rot in February, delivering the A-League champions a 2-0 home loss and a rude wake-up call despite still being in pre-season.
Now Sydney, last in Group H with two points from four games, must exact revenge away from home on Tuesday night to stay in mathematical contention for the knockout stages.
“We’ve travelled over very well and are in very good shape,” Arnold said from Korea on Monday.
“We expect to win tomorrow night and take this contest right until the last game.
“We feel that we’ve learnt a lot of lessons through this campaign, the last time we played Suwon we learnt some lessons from that game.”
Part of that was Suwon’s tactical switch to a back three, pushing players higher to stifle Sydney’s creative outlets Milos Ninkovic and Adrian Mierzejewski.
“We saw the first half how they set up and I changed tactics at halftime to get our 10s to play wider,” Arnold said.
“They didn’t have a game before they played us (at home) so it was pretty hard to scout them and find out what they were doing.
“But we’re tactically ready for tomorrow.”
Sydney are also still on a high from securing a second successive A-League premiership last Thursday in Perth.
It was an equally bright night for Bobo, who bagged two goals to break his drought – and the regular-season goal record.
The Brazilian sat out the side’s last ACL clash but returns for the chance to open his tournament account against Suwon.
Josh Brillante has flown straight to Korea from Socceroos duty in Europe and will step into the starting XI alongside young midfielder Chris Zuvela.
But Sydney will be without their two starting fullbacks, with Arnold loath to risk Michael Zullo (hamstring) before his likely return against Adelaide on Sunday, while Luke Wilkshire is struggling with groin soreness.
Suspended striker Matt Simon was also left at home.
Former Sky Blues favourite and Socceroos defender Matt Jurman is unlikely to play against his old side as he continues to recover from injury.