Match preview: Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City
They may sit nine points ahead but Melbourne Victory are yet to emerge triumphant over fierce rivals Melbourne City this season.
City took the chocolates 2-1 back in Round 1 and a late header from Dario Vidosic denied Victory all three points in the traditional Christmas fixture.
This match-up at Marvel Stadium (kick off 7.50pm AEDT) is set to be a big one and could have severe ramifications for both sides leading up to the Finals.
Victory cannot afford any slip-ups as they attempt to catch the runaway Perth Glory in the battle for the Premiers Plate, while City have suffered three losses in the last four games and will nervously be looking over their shoulder at the lurking Newcastle Jets.
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Warren Joyce will no doubt be hoping Victory striker Ola Toivonen remains sidelined with injury but Keisuke Honda could be in line for a start after coming on in Victory’s 1-1 draw with Wellington Phoenix last Friday.
City meanwhile will be desperate to snap out of their current malaise as they seek to build some momentum ahead of the business end of the season.
Key Opta stats
- Melbourne Victory have won four of their last seven Hyundai A-League games against Melbourne City (D1, L2); however, they are winless in their last two such fixtures (D1, L1).
- Melbourne City have trailed 1-0 at half-time in each of their last four Hyundai A-League games. They’ve picked up just two competition points from their nine games this season when they’ve trailed at the break.
- Victory have scored 25 second-half goals so far this Hyundai A-League campaign, the most of any team in the competition and more than twice as many as Melbourne City (12).
Ins and Outs
Melbourne Victory squad: 1. Matthew ACTON (GK), 2. Storm ROUX, 3. Corey BROWN, 4. Keisuke HONDA, 5. Georg NIEDERMIER, 6. Leigh BROXHAM (Capt), 7. Kenny ATHIU, 8. Terry ANTONIS, 9. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10. James TROISI, 11. Ola TOIVONEN, 14. Thomas DENG, 15. Raul BAENA, 16. Josh HOPE, 17. James DONACHIE, 20. Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 24. Elvis KAMSOBA, 25. Anthony LESIOTIS
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 8. Terry ANTONIS (return from suspension), 11. Ola TOIVONEN (return from injury)
Unavailable: 23.Jai INGHAM (quad), 21.Carl VALERI (hamstring)
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI, 2.Ritchie De LAET, 3.Scott JAMIESON (c), 4.Harrison DELBRIDGE, 5.Bart SCHENKEVELD, 7.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 8.Riley MCGREE, 9.Shayon HARRISON, 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 13.Nathaniel ATKINSON, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 18.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 19.Lachlan WALES, 22.Curtis GOOD, 25.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Florin BERENGUER-BOHRER, 29.Jamie MACLAREN
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 10.Dario VIDOSIC (promoted), 25.Iacopo LA ROCCA (promoted)
How to watch
You can catch this Saturday night game on Fox Sports 505 as well as LIVE and FREE on Ten Bold with kick-off at 7:50pm AEDT. You can also stream it live by subscribing to Kayo Sports.
Click here to secure your seat to the Melbourne Derby!