Sydney FC striker Kosta Barbarouses says the Sky Blues are determined not to be the team to play his old club Melbourne Victory back into A-League form.
Sydney FC striker Kosta Barbarouses doesn't want to hand out any favours to Melbourne Victory in Saturday's A-League Big Blue despite his former club's current woes.
Victory head into the clash with their NSW rivals at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium last on the ladder with just two wins from 11 matches.
In contrast, Sydney have rediscovered some of their swagger, back-to-back wins over Western United and Newcastle propelling the champions to fifth on the standings.
Barbarouses, who made a shock switch to Sydney from Victory in 2019, says the Sky Blues are in no mood to be the team to play Victory back into form.
"They're in a spot where we just need to be on our toes because they could also get a good result and build from there and we don't want to be the team to give that to them," the New Zealand international told AAP.
"We want to build on our two wins in a row, and no matter who we're playing we need to just keep picking up wins and be ruthless."
Sydney are aiming for six A-League wins in a row over Victory, a streak stretching back to January 2019 when Barbarouses was still part of the Melbourne club.
Despite Sydney's dominance over the past two years, the 31-year-old says Saturday's game remains a highly anticipated match.
Close to 400 Victory fans are expected to make the trip to Sydney for the game, despite their team's struggles this season.
"It's a massive game. For maybe different reasons at the moment but yeah, it's always a big game," Barbarouses said.
"It's a special game for myself and there's also the fans who look forward to this game all year and pen this in, along with the Sydney derby, as the ones to look forward to.
"It never loses any sort of importance, no matter what the occasion."
Victory will be without striker Rudy Gestede (knee) while skipper Leigh Broxham is suspended for receiving too many yellow cards.
Defenders Ryan Shotton (groin) and Dylan Ryan (knee) remain sidelined, while Barbarouses' New Zealand teammate Marco Rojas (broken leg) is unavailable for an extended period.
KEY MATCH STATS
* Sydney have won the past five clashes with Victory, averaging more than three goals a game in that period
* Victory have conceded three or more goals in each of their past three matches, the first time in club history that has happened
* Kosta Barbarouses scored in all three of Sydney's wins over his former club Victory in the 2019-20 season.