Sydney FC in reach of record fourth Premiers' Plate

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A favourable draw will give Sydney FC a great opportunity to virtually clinch a record fourth Premiers' Plate in the first game of the restarting A-League on Friday evening.

The runaway league leaders host third-placed Wellington Phoenix at Sydney's Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.

A victory will make it impossible for second-placed Melbourne City to catch them and will leave Phoenix needing to win their last five games and hoping Sydney lose the same amount.

'We are so close, it's a big factor obviously,"' Sydney forward Kosta Barbarouses said.

When Sydney do clinch the Plate, as they surely will at some stage, it will make New Zealander Barbarouses the first player to win that trophy with three A-League clubs, having already done it with Brisbane Roar and Melbourne Victory.

"Just to win three premierships is a good achievement, a lot of people don't get that chance,"' Barbarouses said.

Hoping to delay the Sydney party is another one of Barbarouses's former employers and his original A-League side and home town club Wellington, coached by the Sky Blues' former assistant coach Ufuk Talay.

"Phoenix have been superb this year, Uffy (Talay) has taken this squad and implemented similar things to what we do here and recruited really well," Barbarouses said.

Phoenix will be aiming for a club record-equalling fifth straight win, but Talay suggested it wouldn't be easy to maintain that momentum after a long layoff.

."I don't expect them to be 100 per cent flying like the last game we played against Victory over three months ago," Talay said.

"The boys have had a bit of a lay-off and it's not easy to get it back."

Talay's efforts in his first season at Phoenix with a revamped roster has drawn praise from his old boss.

"I think he's doing a great job over there in Wellington,'" Sydney coach Steve Corica said of Talay.

"He's turned them around playing a good style of football, so I'm proud of what he's done."

In their two previous games this season Sydney won 2-1 at home and the teams drew 2-2 in Wellington.

Source AAP