Official FFA Preview: Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC

Revenge is nigh! Victory want payback like never before against the old enemy

Melbourne Victory v Sydney FC Saturday 16th October 6:45pm

Revenge is nigh! Victory want payback like never before against the old enemy, as Sydney FC return to the scene of last season-s Grand Final drama.

Some things are set in stone. Seasons may come and go, form will fluctuate, players and managers change, yet there remain a few absolutes.

One such thing is that, no matter where they are on the ladder, regardless of if it is the first game of the season, the last, or somewhere in between, every clash between bitter rivals Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC is played out with the intensity of a cup final - both on the pitch and in the stands.

And this Saturday-s game - the 50th Hyundai A-League match to be played at Etihad Stadium - will be no exception.

Last week‘s derby clash was desperately disappointing for Victory, but, to the vast majority of their fans, matches against Sydney FC are where the real rivalry lies.

The emotional wounds from last season-s Grand Final penalty defeat have yet to heal and if they had to chose one team they were desperate for their side to beat, many would choose Sydney over Heart.

Anyone who is happy to knock the A-League should take a trip to Etihad on Saturday. There they-d find two shining examples of the amazing support that the code offers.

Melbourne, with their North and South Terrace Boys and Blue & White Brigade, proudly boast the biggest and some of the most vociferous support in the Hyundai A-League, while Sydney fans deserve huge credit for their amazing performance in the stands so far this season.

Their team may be having an absolute nightmare but The Cove have turned up in numbers and sung their hearts out every game without a single utterance of dissent, despite not have witnessed a win since that penalty glory in Melbourne.

That is surely the very definition of loyalty. On Saturday evening, there is bound to be a large contingent of Sky Blues in a stadium that will hold happy memories for them. “We won the league at Etihad,” will be sung with gusto by Sydney-s travelling army.

Victory fans may counter such taunting by politely suggesting Sydney supporters have a quick glance at where they currently stand in the ladder.

But then Victory aren-t exactly having the best season either. Defeat to their upstart neighbours in the inaugural Melbourne derby was impossible to swallow for the large number of Victory fans in the 25,897-strong crowd.

The defeat left Ernie Merrick-s men without a win in their last five games. Rest assured though, if there is one thing that can lift them from the slump they have lulled into, it is a visit from their fierce rivals from NSW.

Meanwhile, Sydney will go into the game in the knowledge that they played some of their best football of the Hyundai A-League 2010/11 season in their last match against ladder leaders Adelaide. On another day - and with better finishing - they would have been out of sight before the injury-time goal inflicted another defeat.

Against Victory, the visitors will hope to be boosted by Nicky Carle-s return, while the hosts have no fresh injury concerns. Which side will seize the initiative and come out on top? It-s impossible to call and is as intriguing a fixture as you will see anywhere this weekend.

Last season-s Grand Final was one of the all-time Hyundai A-League classics, and this season‘s tussle in Week 1 wasn‘t too shabby either. The 3-3 draw between the sides at Sydney Football Stadium was an end-to-end rollercoaster. If Saturday-s game is anything like either of these encounters, then we-re in for a treat.

It-s a titanic clash between the Hyundai A-League-s two biggest rivals this Saturday and there is every chance that the attendance will top the season-s best of near 26,000 that were at the Melbourne derby.

Be part of the electric atmosphere at Etihad Stadium and make your voice heard as Victory aim to get some sweet revenge on Sydney FC and leave them languishing at the bottom of the ladder.

For tickets to this clash go to ticketmaster