Preview: City v Wanderers

The Hyundai A-League's most prolific side will be without star man Aaron Mooy when they host Tony Popovic's resurgent Wanderers with third spot up for grabs.

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MATCH DETAILS

Friday, 13 November 2015

Melbourne City FC v Western Sydney Wanderers FC

AAMI Park, Melbourne

Kick-Off: 7:40 PM (Local) (7:40 PM (AEDT))

Referee: Peter Green

Assistant Referee 1: Brad Hobson

Assistant Referee 2: George Lakrindis

Fourth Official: Jonathan Barreiro

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.30pm (AEDT), SBS TWO from 7:30pm AEDT and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)

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Radio Broadcast: Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live. SEN 1116 AM (Melbourne). Crocmedia A-League Live (www.facebook.com/A-leagueLIVERadio)

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

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

Melbourne City players celebrate Erik Paartalu's opener against the Reds on Thursday night.

Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (GK), 3.Aaron HUGHES, 4.Connor CHAPMAN, 6.Erik PAARTALU, 7.Corey GAMEIRO, 9.Harry NOVILLO, 15.David WILLIAMS, 16.Jason TRIFIRO, 18.Paulo RETRE, 19.Benjamin GARUCCIO, 20.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 21.Stefan MAUK, 22.Jack CLISBY, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI, 24. Patrick KISNORBO (c), 25.Jacob MELLING, 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI, 34.Stefan ZINNI

**Two to be omitted**

Ins: 7.Corey GAMEIRO (returns from injury), 16.Jason TRIFIRO, 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI (promoted)

Outs: 8.Aaron MOOY (international duty)

Unavailable: 10.Robert KOREN (calf – 3-4 weeks), 11.Michael ZULLO (calf – 1-2 weeks), 14.James BROWN (foot – indefinite), 26.Marc MARINO (knee – 3 months)

Western Sydney Wanderers FC squad: 1.Dean BOUZANIS (gk), 3.Scott JAMIESON, 4.Nikolai TOPOR-STANLEY (c), 6.Mitch NICHOLS, 7.Romeo CASTELEN, 8.DIMAS, 9.Federico PIOVACCARI, 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 11.Brendon SANTALAB, 12.Scott NEVILLE, 16.Jaushua SOTIRIO, 17.ALBERTO, 18.ANDREU, 19.Mark BRIDGE, 20.Andrew REDMAYNE (gk), 21.Jacob PEPPER, 22.Jonathan ASPROPOTAMITIS, 33.Joshua MACDONALD

**Two to be omitted**

Ins: 17.ALBERTO (promoted), 33.Joshua MACDONALD (promoted)

Outs: Nil

Unavailable: 2.Shannon COLE (groin – 1 week) 

Wanderers players celebrate their Round 4 win over Perth Glory.

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

Melbourne City fans must be loving their team's new-found scoring prowess with John van 't Schip having finally found the right formula up front in his second stint in charge of the club.

With Bruno Fornaroli leading the A-League with five goals and Mooy (2 goals, 3 assists) pulling the strings in midfield, City have struck 12 times in five games - more goals than any other team in the competition - but they have had issues in defence, exemplified by their 3-2 home loss to Newcastle Jets.

Friday night's clash at AAMI Park will be a tough test for City, with Mooy unavailable due to Socceroos duty when Wanderers come to town.

Tony Popovic's men started the 2015/16 season poorly but have won their past two games to join City, Melbourne Victory and Wellington Phoenix on seven points in the middle of the A-League table.

If either side can win they will most likely claim third spot heading into the weekend, with Phoenix also in contention for that position against Adelaide United earlier on Friday.

Western Sydney should be confident having won three of four away games against City, although Popovic's team have failed to keep a clean sheet in their past 20 road trips.

OPTA DATA

•  The last five league encounters between City and Western Sydney have seen 17 goals scored (3.4 goals per game).

•   No goalkeeper has made more saves in the A-League this season than City's Thomas Sorenson (20).

•  The Wanderers have won back-to-back A-League regular matches for the first time since December 2013.

ROUTE TO GOAL

Could it be time for Popovic to start Brendon Santalab up front?

The 33-year-old striker, who is working his way back from groin and shoulder injuries, was a critical marksman for the Wanderers in their run to the 2014 AFC Champions League title.

Marquee striker Federico Piovaccari has yet to score for Western Sydney and Santalab could provide more danger to City's sometimes fragile defence.

van 't Schip will be desperate to see an improvement down back with only Central Coast Mariners and Adelaide United (both 11) having conceded more goals than City (10).

In the attacking third, the hosts will have to prove it's 'no Mooy, no worries' with the 25-year-old in Canberra with the Socceroos the night before.

WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?

Bruno Fornaroli. The Uruguayan striker scored his second brace in three games in last week's 4-2 win away to Adelaide, and made the www.a-league.com.au Team of the Week.

FORM LINES

City: DLWLW

Wanderers: LDLWW

PREDICTION

City 2-2 Wanderers

#MCYvWSW