Football 2 years ago

Sydney not content with flying start

  • Sydney not content with flying start

They lead the competition, are on the cusp of a club record best start to an A-League season and are the team to beat according to a host of key indicators.

Yet Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold still isn't content heading into their top-of-the-table showdown with Brisbane at Allianz Stadium on Friday night.

Arnold insists his side is suffering ring rust despite the numbers suggesting they're flying after three wins and a draw to open their 2015-16 campaign.

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Should Sydney come away with three points against the Roar, it will mark their best ever A-League start.

As the Sky Blues mentor points out, they lead the competition in almost every stats department including number of entries into the opposition's penalty box and time in opposition half.

They boast the best record for cross completions (29.2 per cent), goals conceded (2) and shots faced (27).

"I'm quite big on meaningful stats," Arnold said.

"Everything's showing that we're on top of nearly every department except for scoring goals ... Maybe I'm being a little too harsh on the boys at this time of the year."

For all his criticism, Arnold is expecting their flow in attack to come in time.

They have flown out of the blocks on the back of some sturdy defence, letting in just two goals in the first four games.

Roar coach John Aloisi says while breaking down Sydney's defence is easier said than done, he says no team is impenetrable.

"We know Arnie's a good coach, he likes to build from the back and make sure his team is defensively very sound," Aloisi said.

"But they've got dangerous players going forward, that's something we've recognised.

"They'll try and play a few long balls over the top - (Shane Smeltz) likes to play off shoulders, (Alex) Brosque likes to make forward runs, if (Chris) Naumoff plays he's also making forward runs."

STATS THAT MATTER

* The last time these two teams met, an equal A-League record nine goals was scored in Sydney's 5-4 win in March this year.

* The Sky Blues' Matthew Jurman has made the most interceptions this season with 31, 10 more than his nearest rival.

* Brisbane's Jamie Maclaren (3 goals, 2 assists) and Brandon Borello (4 goals), sit first and second respectively on the league's scoring involvement ladder.

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