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Shinji Ono key to Western Sydney’s derby win

It would be easy to point to Shinji Ono’s first goal for the Wanderers – a late penalty against Brisbane to steal the win – as the moment in which he asserted himself in Australian football.

But the reality is that his performance a week later in the second ever Sydney derby was far more impressive. Ono didn’t tangibly affect the result with a goal – although he played in a fine cross for Michael Beauchamp’s goal – but he was the game’s key player, demonstrating outstanding vision and supreme awareness of space to allow the Wanderers to dominate the midfield. Given both sides were actively trying to compete in that zone, this proved crucial.

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Sydney FC v Western Sydney tactical preview

The second Sydney derby, the weekend’s marquee fixture, will be a fascinating gauge of either side’s season to date.

In the ten weeks that have passed between the two derbies, it is Sydney FC that has been through the more tumultuous period, with a change in coach and the introduction of some new personnel disrupting any logical tactical strategy.

By contrast, the Wanderers have enjoyed a relatively low-key start to life in the A-League, with Popovic electing for a settled side to execute a simple system, making for an intriguing contrast in this contest.

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