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Australian Football: Sydney relishing underdogs tag

Sydney FC take on Melbourne City in the A-League semi-final first leg on Friday night with a place in the grand final just two steps away.

Sydney booked their place in the semi-finals thanks to a thrilling 2-1 elimination final win over arch-rivals Western Sydney Wanderers and now they face the might of City.

The premiers should be rested and ready to go after a week off, but they will be in for a tough test over the two legs against a resurgent Sydney side.

In the other semi-final Adelaide United will be taking on the Central Coast Mariners, again over the two legs, with the first leg taking place at Coopers Stadium on Saturday.

First up it is the Blues against City and the home side will be well aware they need to get a positive result to set them up for the return leg at AAMI Park.

WhatSydney FC v Melbourne City
WhereAllianz Stadium, Sydney
When19:45 (AEST), Friday 12th May 2023
How to watchParamount+, 10Bold
OddsSydney FC 2.80, Draw 3.40, Melbourne City 2.40

Sydney hit form at the right time

The season is long and hard and it is all about peaking at just the right time. In Sydney FC’s case, it looks as though they have got it spot on.

It has been a season of ups and downs for the Sky Blues and the future of coach Steve Corica has been called into question on more than one occasion.

Their place in the top six was on the line going into the last few games following a 4-0 defeat at the hands of Western Sydney Wanderers, but they have turned things around.

Sydney are now unbeaten in the last six games, winning the last four, and their confidence will be sky-high going into the double header against City.

All of a sudden they have tightened things up at the back and have conceded just three goals in the last five games.

Scoring goals has not been an issue either when averaging just over two a game in the last six games.

It is no coincidence that Sydney are back in form now that star striker Adam Le Fondre has recovered from a hamstring injury to return to the side.

His winning goal against Wanderers on Saturday night was his fifth in consecutive games and he will be crucial to Sydney’s chances of toppling City.

Le Fondre says Sydney are relishing being underdogs for once and in a way they do have nothing to lose against a City side who are expected to go all the way.

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City out to avoid upset

Melbourne City have been the stand-out team of the A-League once again this season, romping to the minor premiership with relative ease.

Not only that they have been building nicely towards the finals campaign and are unbeaten in the last eight games.

Scoring goals has never been an issue for City. Indeed they were the leading goalscorers in the regular season with 61 goals to their name.

However, they do allow the opposition opportunities and you have to go back to January to find their last clean sheet.

That will offer some hope to Sydney and over 2.5 goals in the game can also be backed at 1.53. If it does turn into a cagey affair, then under 2.5 is available at 2.50.

The two previous games between the two teams this season have been close. Sydney won 2-1 on home soil, before Melbourne gained revenge with a 3-2 win at AAMI Park later on in the campaign.

If it pans out the same over the two legs then we will be heading to extra-time at AAMI Park and will be in for a thriller - away goals do not apply in the semi-finals.

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