Sydney coach Steve Corica is adamant some unwanted off-field issues haven't proved a distraction heading into Sunday's home clash with their A-League bunny Melbourne City.
The second-placed Sky Blues have won their last seven league encounters with City, whose finals spot has come under threat after going six games without a win.
Sydney returned home on Friday after a 1-0 Asian Champions league loss to Kawasaki Frontale in Japan two days earlier.
Off the field, Corica was unhappy that on the eve of the game, 2019-20 A-League debutant Western United announced they had signed Sydney defender Aaron Calver to a two -year deal after this season.
Another unwanted issue emerged in Japan, when it was revealed a South Korean club, believed to be Pohang Steelers, had expressed interest in Sydney midfielder Josh Brillante.
The player was deemed not to be in the right frame of mind to play either Kawasaki or Melbourne City and was left out of the squad for both games.
"There's no distractions leading into the City game the boys are focused,' Corica told AAP.
Sydney are nine points behind leaders Perth and will stay second even if they lose to City at Leichhardt Oval.
"I try not to look below (us on the ladder), I try to look up," Corica said.
"We have six games left, there's still a lot of points to be picked up."
While Sydney went goalless in their two Champions League games, they have scored in all 21 A-League fixtures.
"'I'd like to see us score more goals but we're creating chances which is great," Corica said.
Sydney will be wary of the threat posed by Socceroos striker Jamie MacLaren, who has scored all of City's five goals in the four games he's played since signing.
A rested City haven't played since March 3, while Sydney contested two Champions League games in that period and will have little recovery time after returning from Japan.
"I'd rather be them ... going into the game having played Champions League than going into the game having two weeks off," City coach Warren Joyce said.
"You've got rhythm and you're playing."
Joyce regains defenders Bart Schenkeveld and Ritchie De Laet after suspensions and Harrison Delbridge from injury.
He has lost Olyroos squad members Riley McGree, Nathaniel Atkinson and Lachlan Wales.
For Sydney. Iranian international striker Reza Ghoochannejhadl.is tipped to regain a starting spot in place of Sydney's veteran skipper Alex Brosque.
STATS THAT MATTER
*Melbourne City haven't won away against Sydney FC for almost four years.
*City will be looking for their first away win in six games.
*Sydney are the only team in the A-League this season not to have a player sent off.
Stats supplied by Opta.
Australian Associated Press