A-League Grand Final preview: Melbourne City v Sydney FC
Melbourne City will be out for Grand Final vengeance when hosting Sydney FC in the 2020/21 title decider at AAMI Park on Sunday, June 27 (kick-off 5.05pm AEST).
The Sky Blues went back-to-back in 2019/20, edging City to a tense 1-0 Grand Final victory decided by a Rhyan Grant goal in additional extra-time. Steve Corica's side will now gun for a three-peat of Championships - a feat never before seen in the A-League - but to do so they'll need to beat a hungry and determined City side in 2020/21.
A club-record winning streak of six games helped City on their way to a best-ever points tally of 48 as new head coach Patrick Kisnorbo led his side to the 2020/21 Premiers Plate - the club's first piece of silverware. After going 10 seasons without lifting a trophy the Grand Final favourites have earned the chance to lift two in the space of five weeks by defeating Sydney to secure the Premiership/Championship double.
City trio Connor Metcalfe, Jamie Maclaren and Curtis Good joined Sydney FC's Grant, Ryan McGowan and Andrew Redmayne in the Socceroos camp before the Finals series began, leaving both sides without key personnel on Grand Final day. But on top of the international departures, there are injury concerns in both camps.
Sydney FC star Miloš Ninković continues his day-to-day battle to return to fitness in time for Sunday's title decider after missing his side's Semi Final win over Adelaide United with a calf injury. City, meanwhile, are monitoring injuries to key attackers Andrew Nabbout and Craig Noone. Young City prospects Marco Tilio and Stefan Colakovski stepped up to fill the void in their side's 2-0 win over Macarthur FC, scoring the goals which booked the Premiers a ticket to the Grand Final.
These two sides met twice in the regular season. City notched an entertaining 3-2 win at AAMI Park in Matchweek 9 before drawing 1-1 with the Sky Blues on the road in Matchweek 16.
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Ins and Outs
Melbourne City squad: 1.Tom GLOVER (gk), 2.Scott GALLOWAY, 3.Scott JAMIESON (c), 4.Nuno REIS, 7.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 8.Aiden O’NEILL, 10.Florin BERENGUER-BOHRER, 11.Craig NOONE, 13.Nathaniel ATKINSON, 14.Naoki TSUBAKI, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 16.Taras GOMULKA, 17.Stefan COLAKOVSKI, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.Adrian LUNA, 23.Marco TILIO, 33.Matthew SUTTON (gk) 35.Raphael BORGES RODRIGUES, 36.Kerrin STOKES, 39.Anthony LESIOTIS.
In: 11.Craig NOONE (returns from injury), 15.Andrew NABBOUT (returns from injury).
Unavailable: 9.Jamie MACLAREN (quarantine), 18.Connor METCALFE (national team duty), 22.Curtis GOOD (quarantine).
Sydney FC squad: 2. Patrick FLOTTMANN, 3.Ben WARLAND, 4.Alex WILKINSON (c), 5. Alex BAUMJOHANN, 8.Paulo RETRE, 9.BOBÔ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 16.Joel KING, 17.Anthony CACERES, 18.Luke IVANOVIC, 20. Thomas HEWARD-BELLE (gk), 21.Harry VAN der SAAG, 24. Adrian SEGECIC, 25. Callum TALBOT, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27. Jordi SWIBEL, 30. Adam PAVLESIC (gk), 33.Pat WOOD, 99.Adam LE FONDRE.
**2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 10.Milos NINKOVIC (promoted), 27. Jordi SWIBEL (return from injury)
Unavailable: 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (gk) (International Duty Quarantine), 6.Ryan McGOWAN (International Duty Quarantine), 7. Michael ZULLO (calf), 12. Trent BUHAGIAR (groin), 19. Chris ZUVELA (knee), 23.Rhyan GRANT (International Duty Quarantine), 28. Calem NIEUWENHOF (back)
2020/21 A-League Grand Final: Melbourne City v Sydney FC
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