A marquee match-up awaits in the AFC Champions League on Wednesday night as A-League champions Sydney FC meet Ange Postecoglou’s Yokohama F. Marinos side.
Yokohama vs Sydney kicks off at 9.30pm AEDT at Nissan Stadium. The game will be broadcast live on Fox Sports in Australia.
It’s rare that an AFC Champions League group match commands so much attention in Australia, but this isn’t any ordinary encounter.
Postecoglou will coach against an A-League team for the first time after taking the J-League by storm last season, propelling Yokohama to the premiership with his trademark attacking style of play.
The achievement has boosted Postecoglou’s profile significantly – so much so that a European move in the next year or so seems inevitable – and the former Socceroos boss will be determined to make an impact in the Champions League to further enhance his credentials.
Currently in the J-League off-season, Yokohama scored a 2-1 win over K-League champions Jeonbuk Motors in their first match of Group H last week, while they also drew 3-3 with Andreas Iniesta’s Vissel Kobe in the Japanese Super Cup, falling in the penalty shootout.
By contrast, Sydney FC haven’t played in two weeks after their derby with the Wanderers was postponed due to wet weather, while they had the bye in the A-League over the weekend.
Sydney’s scheduled Group H opener against Shanghai SIPG was also abandoned due to travel restrictions regarding the Corona Virus last week, leaving Steve Corica’s mean short on match-play.
The Sky Blues are once again dominating the A-League, holding a 10-point lead at the top of the table despite playing three less games, but this is a step up in class. Postecoglou will ensure his side are at the peak of their powers for this one, and if Yokohama do indeed play their best, the Japanese side should prove too strong.