2017-18 Big Bash League – Sydney Thunder vs Sydney Sixers Preview

When? Tuesday 19th December

Where? Spotless Stadium

Weather? Temperatures of 30c are forecast in Sydney with a small chance of showers which are not expected to affect play significantly

What channel is it on? Channel TEN in Australia & BT Sport 2 in the UK

Are tickets still available? http://www.sydneysixers.com.au/tickets

Where can I stream the match? BT Sport subscribers can stream the match online via the BT Sport website

HEAD-TO-HEAD
Last five meetings: Sydney Thunder W3, Sydney Sixers W2
All-time meetings: Sydney Thunder W3, Sydney Sixers W8

SYDNEY THUNDER

Coach: Paddy Upton

Captain: Shane Watson

  • Historically, Sydney Thunder do not have a good record against their city rivals but they have had the edge in recent times winning three of the last four matches so their confidence will be reasonable coming into this match.
  • Callum Ferguson will make his debut for Thunder here while they will be able to count on Jos Buttler as their high profile overseas star, although he will be hoping to fare better than he did in the recent Bangladeshi T20 competition where he struggled to make an impact.
  • Thunder are weakened by the absence of Usman Khawaja and Pat Cummins for this opening match so their reliance on the likes of Buttler and captain Shane Watson will be even greater for this Big Bash opener.

SYDNEY SIXERS

Coach: Greg Shipperd

Captain: Moises Henriques

  • The Sixers have long been the leading team in Sydney ahead of Thunder since the birth of the Big Bash, but they will be keen to reverse recent form including one match last season which saw the Thunder restrict them to 99/9 from their 20 overs.
  • They too are without a couple of key Australian internationals as neither Mitchell Starc nor Nathan Lyon are in the 13-man squad for this match so their bowling attack is somewhat weakened there although they do have last season’s top wicket-taker Sean Abbott in their ranks.
  • Their batting prowess is impressive however as England duo Sam Billings and Jason Roy should feature and skipper Moises Henriques returns from injury to play and they will be confident of outscoring their Sydney rivals.

PREDICTION
Expectations are high coming into this new season of the Big Bash for the Sydney Sixers, and they will be expecting to feature in the knockout stage of the competition. The Thunder have lost some key players in Carlos Brathwaite, Eoin Morgan and Andre Russell, and they appear to be putting too much expectation on veteran skipper Shane Watson. Neither of the two teams have their strongest teams available for this opener, but it is the Sixers who have the greater quality all-round and should get off to a winning start.