Hyundai A-League preview: Sydney FC v Melbourne City

Two of the competition’s heavyweights face-off in one of the clashes of the opening round. Will the Sky Blues produce in front of their home fans or can City pull off an early shock?

MATCH DETAILS

Saturday, 10 October 2015

Sydney FC v Melbourne City FC

Allianz Stadium, Sydney

Kick-Off: 7:30 PM (Local) (7:30 PM (AEDT))

Referee: Ben Williams

Assistant Referee 1: Allyson Flynn

Assistant Referee 2: Owen Goldrick

Fourth Official: Matthew Cropper

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: 702 ABC Sydney & ABC Local Radio NSW, 774 ABC Melbourne & ABC Local Radio Victoria, Grandstand Digital, Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live

Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #SYDvMCY

To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au/tickets

Sydney FC squad: 1.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 2.Seb RYALL, 4.Zac ANDERSON, 5.Matt JURMAN, 6.Rob STAMBOLZIEV, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 18.Matt SIMON, 19.Jacques FATY, 20.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 21.Filip HOLOSKO, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 24.George BLACKWOOD, 25.Aaron CALVER, 27.Mickael TAVARES

**two to be omitted**

Ins: nil

Outs: nil

Unavailable: 7.Andrew HOOLE (international duty), 11.Christopher NAUMOFF (international duty), 22.Ali ABBAS (knee - indefinite)

Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (gk), 4.Connor CHAPMAN, 6.Erik PAARTALU, 8.Aaron MOOY, 10.Robert KOREN, 11.Michael ZULLO, 16.Jason TRIFIRO, 17.Wade DEKKER, 18.Paulo RETRE, 20.Tando VELAPHI (gk), 22.Jack CLISBY, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI, 24.Patrick KISNORBO (c), 25.Jacob MELLING, 27.Callum RICHARDSON, 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI, 29.Stefan ZINNI, 30.Hernan ESPINDOLA

**two to be omitted**

Ins: nil

Outs: nil

Unavailable: 3.Aaron HUGHES (international duty), 5.Ivan FRANJIC (quad - 5-7 weeks), 7.Corey GAMEIRO (knee - 1-2 weeks), 9.Harry NOVILLO (hamstring - 4-5 weeks), 14.James BROWN (foot - TBC), 19.Ben GARUCCIO (foot - 1-2 weeks), 21.Stefan MAUK (international duty), 26.Marc MARINO (knee - 3 months)

Melbourne City unveiled their new kit at their Family Day.

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

The Sky Blues have carried their grand final heartache with them all pre-season, waiting for this game to start to make amends. For the players that remain from that day in May, this is a chance to try and put more than four months of pain behind them.

Heading into his second season in charge, coach Graham Arnold feels this is now ‘his’ squad and will demand even more progression – and probably some silverware – from this season.

Expectation is also pretty high at Melbourne City. With huge backing and amazing resources, results will be a must for coach John van ‘t Schip and his superbly assembled squad.

While they head to Sydney with an injury-depleted side, they’ll fancy their chances on coming away with a result as they did on two occasions at Moore Park last season.

OPTA DATA

  • Sydney FC won just one point from their two Hyundai A-League home games with Melbourne City last season (D1 L1).
  • City averaged 11.4 shots per game last season; more than any other Hyundai A-League side in 2014-15.
  • Including finals matches, Sydney FC have won 11 Hyundai A-League games in 2015 so far – more than any other side.
  • Melbourne City were given a red card in each of their last two regular season games in 2014-15 – they only received two in their previous 35 Hyundai A-League games before this run. 

ROUTE TO GOAL

The Sky Blues have recruited well and home fans will be thrilled to get a close-up look at new attacking imports Milos Ninkovic and Filip Holosko.

If they can have as big an impact as Marc Janko did last season, it should be another entertaining ride for the home fans at Allianz.

City is facing a bit of an injury crisis to start the season with Ivan Franjic, Harry Novillo, Corey Gameiro and David Williams all expected to miss the clash.

With Aaron Hughes away on international duty and Aaron Mooy only arriving in Sydney from Jordan on the morning of the match, coach John van ‘t Schip will call on the depth of his squad to try and get a result.

Will they have enough to get past a hungry Sky Blues outfit?

Sydney FC's new marquee Filip Holosko at the Hyundai A-League season launch.

FORM LINES

The Sky Blues have had a mixed pre-season. There were some sensational performances and results mixed with some disappointing ones, including a round of 16 Westfield FFA Cup exit at the hands of Adelaide United. Arnold should have his troops firing for this one though.

City is arguably been the form side of the pre-season. They are in the FFA Cup semis – facing a trip to Perth later this month – and have scored freely throughout. City was also unbeaten in two trips to Allianz last campaign. Could this be the season where the club start to fulfil their lofty expectations?

PREDICTION 

Sydney FC 3-1 Melbourne City