WESTERN Sydney Wanderers striker Brendon Santalab has told of the anticipation in the Wanderers squad ahead of their showdown with Premier League giants Arsenal at ANZ Stadium in July.
The Red and Black will face off against the Gunners on Saturday 15 July in the second of two Arsenal games as part of the #ArsenalinSydney Tour with fans and players alike counting down the days until the superstars of Arsenal hit Aussie shores.
Santalab has spoken of the excitement the Wanderers players have at the prospect of matching up against some of the worlds best.
“We’re all looking forward to playing against some footballing giants at ANZ Stadium,” said Santalab.
“Every week there’s chat at training about the game; who we’re looking forward to playing against, who we want to swap jerseys with and all that.
“It’s going to be a really special atmosphere with our fans and their fans packing the place out.”
Santalab scored his first goal at ANZ Stadium last month with the winner in the action-packed 1-0 win over Sydney FC, ending the Sky Blues’ 19-match unbeaten run and 9-run Derby streak.
Santalab was overcome with emotion at the final whistle and says a chat with Wanderers coach Tony Popovic helped put him in the right frame of mind.
“As a team we spoke about creating great memories at ANZ stadium and I think for a long time from now we will be talking about that match,” he said today.
“It was an incredible night. Scoring my first goal at ANZ Stadium is a massive career highlight for me and to do it with a winning goal in a Sydney Derby was a special feeling.
“The pitch was brilliant, the atmosphere electric, what a night!”
The Wanderers Derby win was witnessed by a crowd of 44,853 fans – the second highest A-League crowd of the season behind the Round 1 Derby at ANZ Stadium, and the fourth highest regular-season crowd in A-League history.
The tense Derby took the Wanderers’ combined two-game Derby crowd at ANZ Stadium to an impressive 106,733.
The Wanderers will return to ANZ Stadium on Saturday 8 April for their final game of the 2016/17 season at the Stadium, when they take on Melbourne Victory and the red and black faithful will be back Saturday July 15 for their blockbuster match versus Arsenal.
You can be part of all the Arsenal In Sydney action by snapping up your tickets here.