Melbourne takes centre stage this week with the Caltex Socceroos tonight (Tuesday) and four nights later a blockbuster Melbourne Derby, starring two of the biggest and most charismatic footballers in the Hyundai A-League.
After a blockbuster Round 1, Melbourne Victory’s talismanic striker Besart Berisha is revelling in the A-League’s hype and excitement.
Now, with Socceroo legend Tim Cahill as an opponent in City colours, and a huge Melbourne Derby to look forward to, the Victory striker senses something special’s in the air in the Victorian capital.
And he's chomping at the bit to line up against Cahill and Co. as derby bragging rights go on the line at Etihad this Saturday night.
“And I’m a striker, he’s a striker.
“He loves scoring goals, I love scoring goals a lot.
“We don’t know what’ll happen, but it’ll be exciting and special.
“Nothing better, nothing better… this is the best!” a pumped-up Berisha told www.a-league.com.au.
Victory opened their campaign with a 1-1 draw in Brisbane last week. A performance that generally pleased coach Kevin Muscat.
City however defeated Phoenix 1-0 in Wellington.
Victory will lose attacking midfielder James Troisi to injury but regain Marco Rojas from international duty with New Zealand.
City for their part lose suspended keeper Thomas Sorensen but regain Cahill from Socceroos duty.
Berisha and Cahill in the one city? That's big and it ensures A-League football has the stars and the hype to keep the turnstiles clicking in Melbourne.
The Victory striker agrees.
“I think it’s very exciting for football to have players like Tim in the country and the derby’s going to be better, the football is going to be more exciting.
“And I believe this is the way it should be. I’m so excited to play against Melbourne City.
“And we’re going to play quite a lot this year because we face them in the [FFA] Cup in a couple of weeks.
“I believe he’s [Cahill] a great player. And he’ll bring more attention to football. And also to A-League," said Berisha, with a glint in his eye.