Preview: Pohang Steelers v Sydney FC

Pohang Steelers host Sydney FC on Wednesday at the Steelyard Stadium in a crucial AFC Champions League Group H encounter.

Group H is wide open after the first couple rounds of fixtures, with Pohang nursing a slender one-point lead over Urawa Red Dragons and Sydney FC, who are on three points each.

After one draw and a loss, defending Champions Guangzhou Evergrande are struggling at the bottom of the group with one point, but can still progress to the knockout rounds.

Domestically, Pohang are coming off a thrilling 3-3 draw with Gwangju in the K League Classic on Saturday.

Otherwise, the South Korean outfit can be satisfied with their two results in the AFC Champions League, which include a 1-0 win over Japan’s Urawa Reds and a goalless draw against Guangzhou.

Now Pohang – who have a 12-match Champions League winning streak at home – find themselves sitting in the pound seats, as a win over Sydney would virtually guarantee them a place in the knockout stages.

Meanwhile, the men from Sydney have been inconsistent at best. In the A-League, their 3-1 loss to Wellington Phoenix on Saturday stretched their winless run in the domestic league to eight games.

The Sky Blues also started the AFC Champions League poorly with a 2-0 loss to Urawa Reds.

However, a late winner from Milos Dimitrijevic gave Sydney FC an unlikely 2-1 win over Chinese giants Guangzhou earlier in the month, which has really thrown the cat among the pigeons in Group H. While Pohang will start as favourites on Wednesday, this result gives an indication off what Sydney are capable of.

Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold is confident ahead of the clash.

“We had a fantastic result at home to Guangzhou last game so we’re looking forward to a good challenge and test tomorrow night,” he said.

“We have to have the right intentions to win tomorrow night. We travelled here from Australia and we brought our best team across because we’re serious about wanting to get the three points and this result.

“We know we’re up against a strong team but we’re looking forward to the challenge ahead. We’re prepared for anything and we’ve come here to win the match, we haven’t come here to draw. We have nothing to lose.”

Comments