A-League champs Sydney FC will be better than last year - Graham Arnold
Sydney FC coach Graham Arnold believes he has an even better squad at his disposal now than the one that swept the A-League last season as they hunt the only piece of silverware that eluded them.
The Sky Blues take on FFA Cup holders Melbourne City in Wednesday night's quarterfinal at Leichhardt Oval.
It is a rematch of last year's tournament decider, which City won 1-0 -- one of only two losses Sydney suffered across their 2016-17 campaign.
Arnold has a fully fit squad of 20 players, and after accounting for the loss of a couple of key names with some handy recruits, he rates them as stronger than last season's crop.
"I believe we have got a greater squad than what we had last year," Arnold told reporters on Monday.
"The new players have settled in very, very well.
"They're great people, first and foremost, they're here for the right intentions. And they're going to come and bring us success."
Sydney lost Filip Holosko, Danny Vukovic and Bernie Ibini after last season. But they've added the likes of former Socceroos Luke Wilkshire and Alex Cisak, plus Polish international winger Adrian Mierzejewski.
Melbourne City are reeling from the loss of captain Bruno Fornaroli, who is out for two months after injuring his ankle in their last cup match against Hakoah Sydney City East FC.
Arnold said after two wins over part-time opposition so far in the FFA Cup -- with a combined scoreline of 11-0 -- his side needed a proper pre-season tune-up.
"I was really excited when we got Melbourne City in the draw because we've been playing NPL clubs, with no disrespect, and we need to be tested in the preseason," he said.
"We've been performing probably around 50 percent and now we need to step up and we will on Wednesday night."