Sydney FC will be looking to bring their dominant domestic home form into Asia when they kick off their Champions League conquest against K-League Classic side Suwon Bluewings on Wednesday night.
Graham Arnold’s team is unbeaten in nearly two years in the league, with their last A-League loss at Allianz Stadium coming on 2 April 2016 against Adelaide United.
Since then, the Sky Blues have been nearly untouchable at home and have made no secret of their desire to translate that into continental football.
Like Ulsan Hyundai, who played Melbourne Victory on Tuesday night and drew 3-3, Suwon are still in their preseason and stepped off the plane in Australian in a totally different climate.
South Korea is in the midst of its winter, while, of course, Australia remains in summer.
And Arnold believes his powerful team can put Suwon to the sword.
“We’re fit … we are the fittest team in the country and I do believe that and the players believe it,” he told a media conference on Tuesday.
“We know that we can run over the top of the opposition so we’re looking at our own performance.
“The players, you can see the excitement in their faces in the last couple of days in training and we’re looking extremely forward to the game.
“It (Allianz Stadium) is a place where when we come into the dressing rooms, we feel it’s comfortable, it’s home.
“On the other side, (for) the opposition, it can be a daunting place, Allianz … we have a lot of belief of winning at home.
“Our home record’s great, we’ve got a full squad of players to pick from … the players are in great knick.”
Arnold added Sydney would be carrying a mindset of representing not only themselves, but Australia and the A-League as a whole.
“A good part of what I’ve been saying to the boys is we’re not only just playing for Sydney FC, we’re playing for the whole of Australia,” he added.
“We’re representing the A-League, we want to show how good that we are and how strong the A-League can be.”
Sydney will be without defender Jordy Buijs, who was the unlucky foreign player left out of their Champions League squad.
AFC ruled stipulate teams may select just three foreign players in the Champions League squad; Sydney have four on their books.
Milos Ninkovic, Adrian Mierzejewski and Bobo made the final cut.
The Dutchman’s absence at centre-half means either Ben Warland or Aaron Calver will likely take his place alongside Alex Wilkinson.