Sydney shouldering Big Blue expectation

Ben McKay
Victory are free of pressure and ready to have a crack, says Terry Antonis

Terry Antonis knows a fair bit about Sydney FC and the big A-League stage.

He played for the Sky Blues for five seasons. His last game came under Graham Arnold in 2015's grand final, lost 3-0 to new home Melbourne Victory.

In between his stints for Sydney and Victory, Antonis sandwiched half a season for Western Sydney.

There, he was part of the Wanderers side that denied Sydney an unbeaten A-League season with an epic derby win.

Another major clash looms on Saturday when he wears Victory's navy blue against Sydney FC for a place in the grand final.

The difference between this match and the others?

"There's less pressure on us so we're going to have a crack at them," he told AAP.

With all the expectation on premiers Sydney FC to progress to another grand final, Antonis said Victory would look to seize the opportunity.

"We'll be attacking them in the same way we attack every game," he said.

"They have broken a heap of records and you can't take that away from them.

"But a place in the grand final is up for grabs and we want it. Everyone wants the chance to play for a title."

In contrast to other iterations of this fixture, there are precious few players who have known the other side.

Seb Ryall, who won a title with Victory in 2009, was long a target of the Victory boo-boys after moving to Sydney the very next month.

Paulo Retre was a Victory youth player who moved across town to Melbourne Heart in search of more football after failing to make a senior appearance.

Antonis is the only player in the Victory squad who has previously played for Sydney FC or under Arnold at club level.

He said Arnold deserved his plaudits but he wouldn't be thinking about his previous days in a lighter shade of blue come kick-off.

"I know I used to play there but it's in the past ... history doesn't count for anything. These are new circumstances," he said.