Sydney FC captain Alex Brosque has upped the ante against Brisbane, branding young strike partners Jamie Maclaren and Brandon Borrello "a bit too cocky" for thinking the A-League's ladder leaders are frightened of facing them.
Twenty-year-old Borrello has ripped apart the competition with four goals in four games, while his fellow frontman Maclaren, 22, has three.
The pair, who occupy the top two slots in the scoring charts, have played a significant role in the Roar's blistering start to the season and their second-place standing - only one point behind Sydney.
They present as the unbeaten Sky Blues' most substantial test yet, when they host the Roar at Allianz Stadium in Friday night's top-of-the-table clash.
But Brosque has backed his team's improved defence to contain coach John Aloisi's spearheads, declaring they've managed more dangerous threats before.
"I think that's good. It shows the way they've been going," Brosque told AAP.
"They're young, they're exciting, they're confident.
"And judging by his comments maybe a little bit too cocky.
"We've got a lot of experience at the back there with Matty Jurman and Jacques Faty.
"They've handled bigger and better players before, so I'm sure they'll be able to contain them."
Jurman is ranked second in the league on clearances (19) and has made by far the most intercepts (31).
Arguably the form defender of this season, he's already held off new foreign signings including Newcastle's Milos Trifunovic and Melbourne City's Bruno Fornaroli.
Jurman's settled combination with Faty has ensured Sydney have let in just two goals in four games, a sign last season's defensive frailties that cruelled their title drive may have been resolved.
Graham Arnold's side conceded 35 goals in 27 games in 2014/15, 20 of which came in home matches.
"A lot was made of the amount of goals we conceded last year, so we've done a lot of work in the off-season in containing teams and trying to restrict the amount of shots they have against us," Brosque said.
"We've been great in doing that. Brisbane will be exactly the same."