The key to breaking down Sydney FC’s remarkable defence

Sydney’s defensive record this season is astonishing, so how do you score against such a mean, stingy defence?

Saturday night’s 0-0 stalemate in the Sydney Derby was the Western Sydney Wanderers’ first clean sheet of the season, which was the biggest positive from the match for coach Tony Popovic.

By contrast, though, it was the seventh clean sheet in this campaign for their neighbours in Sky Blue. Keeping their opponents scoreless was a breakthrough moment for the Wanderers; a run-of-the-mill event for Graham Arnold’s team.

Sydney’s defensive record this season is astonishing. They have conceded just seven goals in fifteen games. In the FFA Cup, they were breached only once (in the final against Melbourne City). They average just three shots conceded per game, easily the lowest in the league. So how do you score against such a mean, stingy defence?

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By Tim Palmer

Tim is a football coach, writer, analyst and sports scientist. He is currently Assistant Technical Director, Head of Player Development & Video and a coach at GHFA Spirit, as well as working with the Pararoos. Previously, he has worked as an analyst with the Socceroos, and in the A-League.

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