It's sky blue and white against the original sky blues at AAMI Park on Saturday, with Melbourne City set to meet a Sydney FC outfit potentially reeling from the long-term loss of Corey Gameiro.
Saturday, 22 November 2014
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-Off: 7:30 PM (Local) (7:30 PM AEDT)
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 3.Robbie WIELAERT, 5.Erik PAARTALU, 6.Aaron MOOY, 7.Iain RAMSAY, 11.Damien DUFF, 14.James BROWN, 15.David WILLIAMS, 17.Jason HOFFMAN, 18.Paulo RETRE, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 23.Mate DUGANDZIC, 24.Patrick KISNORBO (c), 25.Jacob MELLING, 26.Marc MARINO, 27.Ross ARCHIBALD, 28.Liam MILLER
***two to be omitted***
Ins: 6.Aaron MOOY (returns from international duty), 19.Ben GARUCCIO (promoted), 28.Liam MILLER (signed as Injury Replacement Player)
Unavailable: 8.Massimo MURDOCCA (groin – 1-2 weeks), 10.Robert KOREN (calf – 2-3 weeks), 13.Jonatan GERMANO (hamstring – 3-4 weeks)
Sydney FC squad: 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (GK), 2.Sebastian RYALL, 3.Sasa OGNENOVSKI, 4.Pedj BOJIC, 6.Nikola PETKOVIC, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 11.Bernie IBINI, 12.Hagi GLIGOR, 13.Christopher NAUMOFF, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 16.Alex GERSBACH, 17.Terry ANTONIS, 18.Peter TRIANTIS, 19.Nick CARLE, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (GK), 21.Mark JANKO, 22.Ali ABBAS
***two to be omitted***
Ins: 21.Mark JANKO (return from international duty), 17.Terry ANTONIS (returns from international duty)
Unavailable: 7.Corey GAMEIRO (knee – indefinite), 5.Matt JURMAN (knee – 1 week)
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Broadcast coverage: TV Broadcast: Live and exclusive coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 (FOX SPORTS 4HD & 4) from 4.30pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 3 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: 702 ABC Sydney, ABC Local Radio NSW, Grandstand Digital Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app
Referee: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Assistant Referee 1: Nathan MacDonald
Assistant Referee 2: Brad Hobson
Fourth Official: Shaun Evans
Just over a month ago David Villa was the headline act in a Round 1 clash between these two, the Spaniard on the scoresheet in a 1-1 draw at Allianz Stadium.
Plenty has changed since then, with Melbourne City losing their superstar guest player only to finally win away at reigning champions Brisbane Roar FC.
The Sky Blues meanwhile have gone from strength to strength, keeping four clean sheets in succession to stay unbeaten so far in 2014-15.
But Corey Gameiro, the scorer of their stunning opener against City back on October 11, will play no further part in this campaign after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament on Olyroos duty.
It's a cruel blow to Graham Arnold's side, one they must shake off quickly if they are to continue their unbeaten run on the road this weekend.
OPTA DATA STATS
- No player has registered more assists so far this season than City's Damien Duff (three).
- City have won only one of their last 12 in league competition, losing six and drawing five.
- Melbourne City are without a win at home since March, when they beat local rivals Melbourne Victory 4-0.
- City's Aaron Mooy has made more tackles than anyone else in the A-League this season (26).
ROUTE TO GOAL
Sydney haven't scored in their previous two games and must now re-jig their forward line to deal with the absence of Gameiro.
Marc Janko was missing at home to Melbourne Victory last weekend due to international duty but will be back for this one, while Shane Smeltz should find his scoring touch as he gets more games under his belt in a Sky Blue shirt.
Alex Brosque and Bernie Ibini need to sharpen up in front of goal to make up for the loss of Gameiro.
City, awaiting the arrival of Australian marquee striker Josh Kennedy in January, must make do with David Williams and Mate Dugandzic up front.
Defenders in Jason Hoffman, Robbie Wielaert and Patrick Kisnorbo have all weighed in with goals this season, and holding midfielder Erik Paartalu used his height to notch with his head last time out, but it's time the frontline shouldered their proper share of the attacking burden.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Gameiro, first for the right and then the wrong reasons. Having scored and earned a penalty in the Olyroos' 2-2 draw with Brazil's Under-23s in China, disaster struck when he tore his ACL against Korea on Tuesday.
The 21-year-old was playing his best football yet for the Sky Blues this season and now faces a long road back to full fitness.
City gave up a 2-0 lead to draw 2-2 at home to Central Coast last time out. Prior to that they beat the Roar 3-1 away, lost 2-1 at home to Adelaide and went down 5-2 against Victory in the derby, having opened the campaign with 1-1 draws away to Sydney and at home to the Newcastle Jets.
Sydney's last five matches in all competitions have produced 2-0 wins away to Brisbane Roar and at home to Central Coast, followed by successive 0-0 draws away to Adelaide and at home to Victory.
Prior to that they lost 3-1 at home to the Reds in the Westfield FFA Cup quarter-finals.
DID YOU KNOW?
Gameiro scored in both of his previous league appearances against City/Heart for Sydney. Sadly he won't get the chance to try and extend that streak.
Melbourne City 0-1 Sydney FC
We don't expect Sydney's rugged centre-back pairing of Sasa Ognenovski and Nikola Petkovic to give City as many opportunities from set-pieces and headers as they have enjoyed in recent weeks, while Sydney's backline, already well-drilled by Graham Arnold, certainly won't find themselves exposed and out of position in the manner the Roar did in Round 5.
In fact it's difficult to see how goal-shy City will break down their visitors, who are more than capable of exploiting the chinks in the armour of John van't Schip's side. Taking all that into consideration, we're going for a narrow away win.