Duke plans more A-League pain for Sydney

Western Sydney can become the first club to win all three Sydney A-League derbies in a season and captain Mitch Duke is hungry for another goal against them.

MITCHELL DUKE.
MITCHELL DUKE. Picture: Ryan Pierse/Getty Images

Sydney FC nemesis Mitchell Duke wants to put the Sky Blues to the sword again as Western Sydney eye a historic A-League season sweep of their local rivals.

Neither club has won all three derbies in a season since Wanderers came into the league in 2012.

Going into this season, Sydney had lost just one of the 17 league clashes since January 2014.

However, the pendulum has swung westwards as the Wanderers remain the only side to have defeated the defending champions in A-League combat this season, winning 1-0 both home and away.

On both occasions Duke was the match winner, finding the net on each occasion with a header.

No Wanderers player has scored in all three Sydney A-League derbies in a single campaign, though Alex Brosque achieved the feat for the Sky Blues last season.

Eighth-placed Wanderers are scheduled to host ladder-leading Sydney at Bankwest Stadium on Saturday and go into the game two points outside the top six.

The Wanderers' leading scorer with a career-best 11 this season, Socceroos attacker Duke is looking to add to his tally as they aim to secure a first finals place in three seasons.

"I didn't score last game (against Melbourne City) which was unfortunate for me, so I'm hungrier now to go into the Sydney FC game ready to score, or score a double and put them to the sword again," Duke said.

"And set us up for a good finish to the season and get back in the finals."

Given the anxiety about travelling under current circumstances, the Wanderers have a favourable draw with only one of their remaining six matches interstate.

They have four home games plus one in Gosford against Central Coast and a single fixture outside NSW against Western United, at Mars Stadium in Ballarat.

"We've got a very smooth run at home in that regard, but it also does make me feel about other teams not having such an easy run, especially with this coronavirus stuff happening," Duke said.

While the Wanderers' passionate fans will be locked out of Saturday's derby, Duke needs no reminder of what it means.

"I constantly get private messages every time we're coming up against them, 'make sure you get the result, this is more than just a game'," Duke said.


AAP