Sydney FC captain Alex Brosque says the Sky Blues can more-than-match Melbourne Victory's aggressive tactics in Saturday’s semi-final.
Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory usually deliver intense affairs but when Big Blues are contested during the A-League finals, the passion between inter-state rivals increases dramatically.
Take the previous two Grand Finals between Sydney FC and Melbourne Victory. Victory’s aggressive tactics in the 2014/15 decider was too much for the Sky Blues, winning 3-1.
But Sydney learnt their lesson, giving as good as they got during an intense and at times brutal affair on their way to winning last season's A-League Championship title in a penalty shoot out.
Ahead of Saturday night’s semi-final at ALLIANZ stadium the Sky Blues leader expects no different.
“We know what sort of game-plan they have,” Brosque said speaking to FourFourTwo.
“We know they can bring a fight against us every game we play.
“It’s about weathering that storm and weathering that fight and being equally if not more as aggressive to match that with them.
“But once that football takes over guys like Milos Ninkovic and Adrian (Mierzejewski) will do what they’ve done all season.
“The way that we have been prepared for this semi-final the boys have been feeling good, everybody is fit and heathy and everybody is hungry.”
Victory earned their spot in the semi-final against the Sky Blues due to Besart Berisha’s outrageous overhead bicycle kick that won last week’s elimination final against Adelaide United.
Berisha has also scored against Sydney in the previous two Grand Finals and Sydney FC left back Michael Zullo said they won’t be offering the striker any room for a repeat performance.
“If you give players time and space then they are capable of doing something but if you take that time and space away from them then it never happens,” he said.
“For us the way we attack and the way we defend we don’t plan on giving them those half chances.
We are focused on keeping them camped in their half and making them worry about us going forward.”
Meanwhile Brosque is confident the home crowd will let Melbourne know that they are in for a ferocious contest.
“It’s set up for a good match for the fans," he said. “Thankfully it’s at home in front of our fans and they’ll be letting Melbourne know exactly what sort of game they are in for as will we.
“We know how big the game is, we know what sort of game it will be and beating them as a rival would be great.
"To be able to do it and book a spot in the Grand Final would be very pleasing definitely.
"Doing both at the same time is going to be as equally as enjoyable.”