Opta stats analysis: Sydney Derby


Sydney FC travelled to their rivals in the west of the city and returned with the three points, having dispatched Western Sydney Wanderers by a margin of four goals to nil.

Sydney FC clearly decided to approach the Derby with a specific strategy in mind; the final scoreline would suggest the visitors were the aggressors but the data argues otherwise.


             Sydney FC v WSW (8th October 2016)                          WSW v Sydney FC (8th October 2016)

Sydney had the lesser share of possession in this game (47.6%) and when they did get the ball; they could only muster a completion rate of 69.7%.

Perhaps symptomatic of the ‘Leicester City era’ we now live in, Sydney decided to adopt a much more compact formation (as the average position graphic above shows) and hit in bursts.


                     Bobô (Sydney v WSW)                                                   Bulut (WSW v Sydney)

A further example of how Sydney decided to attack this game can be seen when comparing the contrasting styles of the frontmen from both sides.

Kerem Bulut of Western Sydney Wanderers electing to play the ‘typical’ number nine role at the top of pitch whilst Sydney’s Bobô  spent much of his time on the ball closer to the centre circle than the opposition’s 18-yard box.

Such a philosophy relies upon every member putting in a shift and often, in roles that are alien to players and Graham Arnold’s men successfully achieved such a performance on matchday one; no team recorded more shots on target across the first round of matches than the seven they attempted despite having less of the ball on the day, no easy feat.

This weekend it will be Melbourne City’s turn to travel to their local rivals and they’ll be hoping to produce a similar result as Sydney managed over the opening weekend.

It will be no easier for John van’t Schip’s men as they head to Docklands Stadium in the knowledge that Victory have only lost one of their last five derby games against City (W3 D1) and are currently unbeaten in five home A-League games versus City (W4 D1).