Round three marks the first instalment of the Sydney Derby in Season 8 with the Western Sydney Wanderers playing host to cross-town rivals Sydney FC.

As the match of the week, it’s a curtain raiser with all the potential for fireworks as the Wanderers turn to Wanderland for the first time to paint the town red and black.

Last weekend produced a second round to forget for the Sydney sides as three goals were enough to sink both the Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC against Brisbane Roar and Canberra United respectively.

The Wanderers were unable to break the home ground hoodoo which saw them secure no points in home territory last season while Sydney FC’s attempts to shake off a heavy first round defeat were dashed by the defending champions.

The Wanderers entered round two looking to extend their positive start to the season with a win against a reworked Brisbane Roar at home at Marconi Stadium and another explosive start produced good signs early.

In a signature Wanderers display the red and black dominated the opening half with Erica Halloway attacking down the right side to highlight just how dangerous they can be. But, it was a case of anywhere but the back of the net with Keelin Winters unlucky not to get a result in a host of great chances which ultimately saw the Wanderers punished for their wastefulness in a lacklustre second stanza.

Late goals for Emily Gielnik (2) and Gabe Marzano sealed game two’s fate as ‘the one that got away’ from Western Sydney who were otherwise impressive with stalwart Linda O’Neill giving 110% in the midfield and Ellie Carpenter shining under the guidance of Carmelina Moscato in the defence.

The loss sees Western Sydney slip to seventh spot on the ladder with just 1 point in tow, but it wasn’t all negative with the Wanderers able to take a host of positives from the 3-0 loss.

For Sydney FC, round two was a chance at redemption after an uncharacteristic opening round loss at the hands of new kids on the W League block, Melbourne City.

Resetting their season wouldn’t come without its challenges as Sydney met defending champions Canberra United away from home and without key Matilda’s contributors. A game of two halves saw Sydney get off to a positive start and head to the break trailing by one (Nicole Begg) but on otherwise even terms. In the second,

Canberra found another gear and despite the best efforts of Teresa Polias (C) who gave another tireless shift in the midfield and marquee keeper Michelle Betos with some commendable saves, Sydney were unable to keep the pace for the full ninety minutes.

Veronica Perez and Caitlin Munoz put the game out of reach leaving Sydney with a 3-0 loss and in unfamiliar territory at the foot of the table yet to record any points or goals in season eight.

The Wanderers will look to use the Derby setting as motivation to convert chances to goals. Winters, O’Neill, Halloway and Beard will provide space and openings but require stronger presences from strikers Carney and Grey to finish.

In the opposite corner, Sydney FC return to full strength with the inclusion of Matilda’s stars Alanna Kennedy and Kyah Simon.

After conceding nine goals and scoring none Sydney will be hoping the presence of Kennedy and another solid performance from Betos will keep the Wanderers at bay.

On the attack, Sydney will look to Jasmyne Spencer to rediscover dangerous form and will rely on Simon’s ability to lead the front line and find goal to spark a Sky Blue resurgence.

In true Sydney Derby style, the battle of the bridge is a contest that doesn’t disappoint. Sydney FC will enter the clash as the usual favourites but as the old saying goes, ‘you’re only as good as your last derby’ and bragging rights remain with the Wanderers who held on 2-1 for their first ever Derby win in six outings when the two last met.

The Wanderers go into round three higher placed (7) on the ladder than Sydney (9) and will be hoping to draw on a big Wanderland crowd to cheer them to their second ever derby win.

Regardless of the outcome, expect the biggest winner to be the TV audience who will be treated to an out and out showing of the W League’s endless talent, passion and whatever it takes football.

Western Sydney Wanderers v Sydney FC

Sunday 1 November 2015

Pirtek Stadium, Parramatta, Sydney

Local kick-off: 2pm

* Watch all the action Live from 2.00pm nationally on Fox Sports (Channel 505), or ABC TV. Or catch-up on ABC iView.

Head to Head: Played -  5 wins (SYD) - 1 win (WSW)

Western Sydney Wanderers squad: Teagan Micah (gk), Carmelina Moscato, Chloe O’Brien, Eliza Ammendolia, Kendall Johnson, Rachael Soutar, Erica Halloway, Michelle Carney, Elizabeth Grey, Keelin Winters, Hannah Beard, Alix Roberts, Ellie Carpenter, Linda O’Neill, Jada Whyman (gk)

Unavailable: Caitlin Cooper (leg – 1 week)

Sydney FC squad: Michelle Betos (gk), Teigen Allen, Renee Rollason, Teresa Polias (c), Jasmyne Spencer, Nicola Bolger, Leena Khamis, Amy Harrison, Elizabeth Ralston, Natalie Tobin, Trudy Camilleri, Alanna Kennedy, Kyah Simon, Lyndsay Kohlet, Princess Ibini, Sham Khamis (gk)

Ins: Alanna Kennedy, Amy Harrison, Kyah Simon (all return from Westfield Matildas duty)

Outs: Sunny Franco, Ellyse Perry (both omitted)

Unavailable: Olivia Price (ankle)