New Western Sydney skipper Robbie Cornthwaite has wasted no time getting under Sydney FC's skin, declaring the Wanderers will put on a superior show against Arsenal to what the A-League champions managed.
Source:
AAP
14 Jul 2017 - 3:43 PM  UPDATED 14 Jul 2017 - 3:43 PM

Cornthwaite was named as the club's fourth captain at a Wanderers luncheon on Friday, and will lead the team for the first time in Saturday's pre-season friendly with the Gunners at ANZ Stadium.

And the towering centre-back couldn't resist a verbal dig at fierce rivals the Sky Blues, who lost 2-0 to Arsene Wenger's English Premier League side on Thursday night.

"We're going to try and take it to them a little bit and give them a test which they probably didn't get last night," Cornthwaite said.

"We're not there just to make up the numbers or have a kick-about with these great players."

Cornthwaite will be tasked with containing Danny Welbeck, Mesut Ozil and Alexandre Lacazette, who scored within 15 minutes of his club debut on Thursday.

It's a challenge he's confident to accept after surviving and then thriving last season on return from five years in Asia.

Lacazette scores on dream debut as Arsenal sweep Sydney
Alexandre Lacazette made a stunning start to his Arsenal career by scoring on his debut to wrap up a 2-0 victory over Sydney FC.

Cornthwaite played no A-League football between rounds four and 14 as he fought to regain lost form and fitness.

"The first half of my time here at Western Sydney was a bit of a battle," he said.

"I could have thrown it all in but I chose to keep working hard, and it paid off."

Cornthwaite got his chance just after Christmas, and has played nearly every minute since in a rock-solid central defensive partnership with Jonathan Aspropotamitis.

With the pair near-certain to retain their starting spots, the Arsenal game will give coach Tony Popovic a chance to test out other combinations.

Thirteen players left at the end of last campaign in Popovic's annual cleanout, but quality has replaced them in Spanish marquee striker Oriol Riera, Michael Thwaite, Josh Risdon, Chris Herd and Roly Bonevacia.

Riera could debut, while last season's midfield revelation Kearyn Baccus might get a chance to start clicking with Bonevacia, who'll attempt to fill Terry Antonis' big shoes.

Wanderers squad to face Arsenal: Jack Clisby, Josh Risdon, Brendan Hamill, Steven Lustica, Roly Bonevacia, Oriol Riera, Jumpei Kusukami, Kearyn Baccus, Robbie Cornthwaite, Jacob Melling, Vedran Janjetovic (gk), Marc Tokich, Chris Herd, John Hall (gk), Michael Thwaite, Nick Suman (gk), Kyle Cimenti, Tate Russell, Matthew Leece, Abraham Majok, Tariq Maia.