Will Marc Janko's rampant Sky Blues break a club record unbeaten run? In doing so deal a blow to City’s top-six hopes? Or will John van ‘t Schip’s unpredictable City halt Sydney's incredible momentum? So many talking points ahead of this sizzling opening match of #EraseRacism Round 22 at Allianz Friday night.
Friday, 20 March 2015
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-Off: 7.40pm (Local) 7.40pm AEDT)
Sydney FC 1.Ivan NECEVSKI (gk), 2.Seb RYALL, 5.Matt JURMAN, 6.Nikola PETKOVIC, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.Shane SMELTZ, 11.Bernie IBINI, 13.Christopher NAUMOFF, 14.Alex BROSQUE ©, 16.Alex GERSBACH, 17.Terry ANTONIS, 20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 21.Mark JANKO, 23.Rhyan GRANT, 26.Jacques FATY, 27.Mickael TAVARES, 29. George BLACKWOOD, 34.Robert STAMBOLZIEV.
***two to be omitted***
Ins 26.Jacques FATY (promoted), 29. George BLACKWOOD (promoted).
Unavailable 7.Corey GAMEIRO (knee – indefinite), 22.Ali ABBAS (knee – indefinite), 19.Nick CARLE (knee – indefinite), 3.Sasa OGNENOVSKI (hip – indefinite).
Melbourne City 1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK), 5. Erik PAARTALU, 6. Aaron MOOY, 7. Iain RAMSAY, 8. Massimo MURDOCCA, 9.Harry NOVILLO, 10.Robert KOREN, 13. Jonatan GERMANO, 14. James BROWN, 15. David WILLIAMS, 17. Jason HOFFMAN, 18. Paulo RETRE, 20. Tando VELAPHI (GK), 22. Jack CLISBY, 23. Mate DUGANDZIC, 24. Patrick KISNORBO, 26. Marc MARINO, 27. Kew JALIENS
***two to be omitted***
Ins 17. Jason HOFFMAN (promoted), 26. Marc MARINO (promoted)
Outs 16. Josh KENNEDY (hip – 1 week)
Unavailable 3. Robbie WIELAERT (ankle – 3 weeks), 4. Connor CHAPMAN (suspended – 3 matches), 11. Damien DUFF (ankle/calf – indefinite), 19. Ben GARUCCIO (ankle – 8 weeks), 25. Jacob MELLING (knee – 1-2 weeks), 29. Safuwan BAHARUDIN (international duty)
TV broadcast – Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Live Coverage on SBS HD & SBS One from 7.30pm AEDT
Radio broadcast – Online/ABC Radio Mobile phone app.
Referee Chris Beath
Assistant Referee 1: David Walsh
Assistant Referee 2: James Tesoriero
Fourth Official: Kris Griffiths-Jones
Can anyone stop the rampant Sky Blues at the moment?
It’s not just the fact they have yet to lose since the Asian Cup break, but they’ve scored an incredible 25 goals in their last seven matches. In Marc Janko they have a striker that looks almost unplayable and have leaped from fifth to second spot over the last month.
Win here and they will go top for at least 48 hours until Wellington play Brisbane Roar on Sunday. That alone should prompt Sydney's fans to turn out in big numbers for a rare Friday night clash.
But if there is one concern for coach Graham Arnold it’s at the back, where they have leaked 14 goals in their last seven matches.
It’s uncharacteristic of Arnold-coaches teams to be so shaky in defence and you can be sure they will have worked overtime on that this week.
City’s up-and-down season continued with a huge win over the Jets last week, following back-to-back defeats against the Wanderers and Mariners. A defeat would deal their hopes of playing in the finals a big blow with John van ‘t Schip’s side currently holding a two-point buffer on Brisbane but Roar have two games in hand.
Defender Jacques Faty should be right to go having missed the last three games with a hamstring injury. With the Sky Blues struggling in defence he is a good chance to come into the starting team, most likely for Matt Jurman.
Socceroo midfielder Terry Antonis is battling a knee problem and may have to settle for a spot on the bench again. Josh Kennedy will miss the trip for City with a hip injury, meaning David Williams is most likely to lead the attack, unless van ‘t Schip goes for Robi Koren in a False9 role.
OPTA DATA STATS
-Having won none of their first seven Hyundai A-League meetings with City (D5 L2), Sydney have won four of the last seven (D1 L2).
-Melbourne City has only failed to score once in six previous Hyundai A-League visits to Sydney.
-Sydney have won six of their last seven A-League games (D1), scoring 25 goals in the process, while City are winless in five away games (D1 L4), failing to score in four of those.
-Marc Janko has scored 12 goals in his last seven Hyundai A-League games for Sydney.
ROUTE TO GOAL
With striker Josh Kennedy to miss this clash with a hip problem, City will have to take a new approach with their attacking game. Having the option to push the ball wide to their quick players who in turn service Kennedy with balls from the byline, they will now need to be more measured in their approach to try and make the most of David Williams’ and Harry Novillo’s pace or the class and guile of Robi Koren.
There’s no secret who City must try and stop at the other end. Sky Blues striker Marc Janko has scored 12 goals in the last seven matches. If you add in his assists he’s been directly involved in 16 of the clubs 25 goals since the return from the Asian Cup break. Memo to City’s defence: You must stop Janko!
Big Patrick Kisnorbo will have his hands full. Or will it be Kew Jaliens?
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Marc Janko. His goal-scoring is the talk of town.