Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC: match preview
There is nothing like a Big Blue clash but Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC arrive in this edition of their storied rivalry with contrasting fortunes.
Victory have changed course mid-way through 2019/20 by showing Marco Kurz the exit door and promoting Carlos Salvachua to the big chair, and they head into Friday night's contest only 72 hours after an AFC Champions League Second Preliminary Round tie with Bali United.
Steve Corica's Champions, on the other hand, will be well rested coming off a bye week as they search to extend a 10-game unbeaten streak and an eight-point lead at the top of the Hyundai A-League.
It's been 14 years since a table topper held a bigger lead through 15 rounds (Melbourne Victory in 2006/07) and an away win would give the Sky Blues an all-time best Hyundai A-League points tally through 14 games of 37 points. Graham Arnold's 2017/18 record-breakers had 36.
Friday, 24 January 2020
Kick-off: 7.30pm AEDT
Venue: AAMI Park
Broadcast: FOX Sports 505
Stream: MyFootball Live App, Kayo Sports
Ways to watch
How to follow the action
Match centre: Live updates, videos and statistics
Follow @ALeague on Twitter and join the conversation using #BigBlue #ALeague
Melbourne Victory squad: 2.Storm ROUX, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 7.Kenny ATHIU, 8.Jakob POULSEN, 9.Andrew NABBOUT, 10.Robbie KRUSE, 11.Ola TOIVONEN (c), 16.Josh HOPE, 17.Elvis KAMSOBA, 18.Migjen BASHA, 19.Ben CARRIGAN, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Adama TRAORE, 23. Marco ROJAS, 24.Anthony LESIOTIS, 25.Brandon LAUTON, 26.Jay BARNETT, 50.Brendan WHITE (gk) **0-2 to be omitted**
Ins: 11.Ola TOIVONEN (promoted), 23. Marco ROJAS (new signing)
Outs: 4.James DONACHIE (suspended), 22.Kristijan DOBRAS (released)
Unavailable: 1.Matt ACTON (shoulder), 14.Thomas DENG (international duty) 5.Tim HOOGLAND (knee)
Sydney FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 2.Patrick FLOTTMANN, 4.Alex WILKINSON (c), 5.Alex BAUMJOHANN, 6.Ryan McGOWAN, 7. Michael ZULLO, 8. Paulo RETRE, 9. Adam LE FONDRE, 10. Milos NINKOVIC, 11. Kosta BARBAROUSES, 16.Joel KING, 17.Anthony CACERES, 18.Luke IVANOVIC, 21.Harry VAN DER SAAG, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 24.Marco TILIO, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Jordi SWIBEL, 28.Calem NIEUWENHOF, 30.Adam PAVLESIC (gk) **2-4 to be omitted**
Ins: 18.Luke IVANOVIC (return from injury), 23.Rhyan GRANT (return from suspension), 26.Luke BRATTAN (return from suspension)
Outs: 25.Ryan TEAGUE (hamstring)
Unavailable: 3.Ben WARLAND (ACL), 12.Trent BUHAGIAR (international duty), 19.Chris ZUVELA (knee), 20.Tom HEWARD-BELLE (knee)
Did you know?
- Sydney FC have won 10 of their last 13 Hyundai A-League games against the Melbourne Victory (losing thre), including their last three on the bounce across, in which they have scored 10 goals.
Sydney FC are undefeated in their last seven Hyundai A-League games outside New South Wales (six wins, one draw), including a 2-0 win over Western United FC in their last visit to Victoria
Melbourne Victory are undefeated in their last seven Hyundai A-League games at AAMI Park (five wins, two draws), having kept a clean sheet in three of their last four games there.
Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC have scored more goals within the opening 15 minutes of games this A-League season than any other teams, with six.
Sydney FC's Adam Le Fondre has made more headed shots on target than any other player this A-League campaign, with five, while no other player has scored more than his three headed goals.