Sydney FC coach Steve Corica hopes the rivalry against Macarthur FC will become a strong one as the teams prepare for the first derby against each other.
They've already tried to steal Milos Ninkovic and now Macarthur FC will try to take all three points against Sydney FC when the A-League's newest derby kicks off at Campbelltown Stadium on Saturday.
Macarthur have made a strong start to their debut campaign, snaring two wins and a draw from their opening four matches.
The new kids on the block will receive a big test when they take on Sydney, who are desperate to rebound from their upset 2-0 loss to Central Coast last week.
Although the Sky Blues sit in eighth spot after three games, they are still considered the premier team in the competition following back-to-back titles.
Sky Blues coach Steve Corica hopes the derby against Macarthur will build into a strong rivalry, and he was quick to point out how the Bulls fired the first shot months ago when they tried to poach Ninkovic for their inaugural squad.
"Other than they tried to steal Ninko, I think it's been alright," Corica joked when asked about the rivalry so far.
"It's good to have Ninko stay. It's a derby game, it's great for the fans.
"We're looking forward to bouncing back from the loss last week."
Saturday's match will mark the 200-game A-League milestone for Sydney midfielder Luke Brattan, who started his career at Brisbane Roar before moving to Melbourne City and later the Sky Blues.
"It could be the start of a great rivalry," Brattan said of the clash with Macarthur.
"We've got a target on our backs no matter what. Everyone wants to beat us and everyone gets up for the games against us. No one wants us to win another trophy.
"Every game is going to be tough this year, including this one. Hopefully it's a special night and we can create something for the future."
STATS THAT MATTER:
*Sydney have lost only one of their last 12 A-League games away from home (W7, D4); but they haven't managed to keep a clean sheet in any of their last six away games.
*Macarthur have the highest possession rate (59 per cent) and the highest passing accuracy (84 per cent) of any team thus far in the 2020/21 A-League season.
*Sydney have an Expected Goals value of 1.9 per game this A-League season, the highest of any team. However, they have managed just one goal per game from their three fixtures thus far.
(Stats by Opta)