Match preview: Melbourne City v Melbourne Victory
The second instalment of the Melbourne Derby in the 2018/19 Season promises to be a pre-Christmas cracker.
Melbourne Victory are flying in the Hyundai A-League right now, while cross-town rivals Melbourne City head into the match full of confidence after a 2-0 win over Adelaide.
City may have won the first Melbourne Derby in Round 1, but how fortunes have changed. Kevin Muscat has a side blessed with attacking prowess and defensive astuteness, evident in Victory’s 4-2 win over Brisbane Roar last Friday night.
Kosta Barbarouses’ brace may steal the headlines, but don’t discount the efforts of Thomas Deng and Leigh Broxham who are as vital as ever to the side at the back.
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City had been inconsistent in recent weeks, but a 2-0 victory over Adelaide United on Sunday appears to have steadied the ship.
Warren Joyce's side are currently in fourth place and a win on Saturday night would give the side a steady platform heading into the busy Summer of Football period.
Victory have 16 goals in their last five games and are showing the type of firepower many a fan expected in the pre-season.
Ola Toivonen has well and truly found his feet, linking up the play superbly with Barbarouses, Terry Antonis and, of course, Keisuke Honda.
Saturday night at AAMI Park is set to be a cracker, made all the more appealing by the early Westfield W-League kick-off against Canberra United at 5.00pm.
Key Opta Stats
- Melbourne Victory have won their last three games against Melbourne City at AAMI Park; with each of those three wins coming by a margin of just one goal.
- Melbourne City (81.9%) and Melbourne Victory (81.1%) boast better passing accuracies than any other teams in the Hyundai A-League this season.
- Victory star Keisuke Honda has been directly involved in eight goals this season (5 goals, 3 assists), more than any other player in the Hyundai A-League.
Ins and Outs
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Mark BIRIGHITTI (gk), 2.Ritchie De LAET, 3.Scott JAMIESON (c) , 4.Harrison DELBRIDGE, 5.Bart SCHENKEVELD, 6.Osama MALIK, 7.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 8.Riley MCGREE, 10.Dario VIDOSIC, 11.Michael O’HALLORAN, 13.Nathaniel ATKINSON, 15.Kearyn BACCUS, 18.Eugene GALEKOVIC (gk), 19.Lachlan WALES, 21.Ramy NAJJARINE, 25.Iacopo LA ROCCA, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 34.Connor METCALFE **two to be omitted**
Ins: 22.Curtis GOOD (returns from suspension), 34.Connor METCALFE (promoted)
Unavailable: 27.Florin BERENGUER-BOHRER (calf)
Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Matt ACTON (gk), 2.Storm ROUX, 3.Corey BROWN, 4.Keisuke HONDA, 6.Leigh BROXHAM, 8.Terry ANTONIS, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 10.James TROISI, 11.Ola TOIVONEN, 13.Birkan KIRDAR, 14.Thomas DENG, 16.Josh HOPE, 19.Rahmat AKBARI, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 21.Carl VALERI (c), 22.Nick ANSELL, 26.Nicholas SETTE, 30. Matthew SUTTON (gk) **two to be omitted**
Ins: 26.Nicholas SETTE (promoted), 30.Matthew SUTTON (gk) (promoted)
Unavailable: Kenny ATHIU (hamstring – TBC), Jai Ingham (quad – TBC), 15.Raul BAENA (hamstring – TBC), 5. Georg NIEDERMEIER (ankle – TBC)
How to watch
Do not miss any of the action on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7:50pm AEDT or LIVE and FREE on 10 Bold or tenplay.
You can also stream it live on the MyFootball Live App.
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