A-League: Wanderers can lend Sydney FC a hand

For Sydney FC to have a chance of playing finals football this season, their arch-rivals Western Sydney Wanderers must not lose to Wellington Phoenix.

Sydney FC need arch-rivals Western Sydney Wanderers to do them a huge favour by denying Wellington Phoenix an A-League win on Thursday night at CommBank Stadium.

Following the finals-bound Central Coast Mariners 2-0 win over Brisbane Roar on Tuesday night, there is only one spot remaining in the competition’s top six.

Sixth place is currently occupied by the Phoenix, with Sydney being the only team a chance to replace them in the top six.

The Sky Blues are five points adrift of the Kiwi outfit, with both teams having two regular season matches remaining.

If the Phoenix beat the Wanderers on Thursday night, five-time A-League champions Sydney will miss the finals for the first time since the 2015-16 season.

However, if the Wanderers win, or the match ends in a draw, Sydney’s faint finals hopes will remain alive.

“It’s in our hands at the moment,” Phoenix coach Ufuk Talay said.

“We’ve got a very important game against Western Sydney, where we can hopefully get a result and cement our spot in the top six.

“It’s very important that we do the job that we need to do to get ourselves in the position that we want to be in.”

The Wanderers are in ninth place and will miss the finals for a fifth straight season.

Western Sydney coach Mark Rudan said the Wanderers were desperate to reward their supporters with a win in the club’s final home game of the A-League season.

“The focus is winning the game at home – our fans deserve that,” Rudan said.

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