Preview: Victory v City

Expect another white-hot atmosphere at Etihad Stadium for the highly anticipated Melbourne Derby. Two powerful sides, both expected to challenge for honours this season. What more could you ask for?

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MATCH DETAILS

Saturday, 17 October 2015

Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City FC

Etihad Stadium, Melbourne

Kick-Off: 7:30 PM (Local) (7:30 PM (AEDT))

Referee: Jarred Gillett

Assistant Referee 1: Nathan MacDonald

Assistant Referee 2: Luke Brennan

Fourth Official: Jonathan Barreiro

TV Broadcast: Live coverage on FOX SPORTS 505 from 7.00pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 4 (New Zealand)

Radio Broadcast: 774 ABC Melbourne & ABC Local Radio Victoria, Grandstand Digital Perth & Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live.SEN Radio (Melbourne)

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

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

Melbourne Victory squad: 1.Danny VUKOVIC (GK), 2.Jason GERIA, 3.Scott GALLOWAY, 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI, 7.Gui FINKLER, 8.Besart BERISHA, 9.Kosta BARBAROUSES, 11.Connor PAIN, 13.Oliver BOZANIC, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 15.Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 17.Matthieu DELPIERRE, 18.Dylan MURNANE, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (GK), 21.Carl VALERI (c), 22.Jesse MAKAROUNAS, 24.Thomas DENG

**Two to be omitted**

Ins: 2.Jason GERIA (returns from international duty), 3.Scott GALLOWAY (returns from international duty), 11.Connor PAIN (returns from international duty), 15.Giancarlo GALLIFUOCO (returns from international duty), 21.Carl VALERI (returns from injury)

Victory skipper Carl Valeri celebrates scoring against the Wanderers last season.

Outs: 6.Leigh BROXHAM (suspended – 1 week), 19.George HOWARD, 32.Stefan NIGRO

Unavailable: 4.Nick ANSELL (injury), 10.Archie THOMPSON (injury)

Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (GK), 4.Connor CHAPMAN, 6.Erik PAARTALU, 8.Aaron MOOY, 10.Robert KOREN, 11.Michael ZULLO, 16.Jason TRIFIRO, 17.Wade DEKKER, 18.Paulo RETRE, 20.Tando VELAPHI (GK), 21.Stefan MAUK, 22.Jack CLISBY, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI, 24.Patrick KISNORBO (c), 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI, 30.Hernan ESPINDOLA, 34.Stefan ZINNI, 36.Matt MILLER
**Two to be omitted**

Ins: 21.Stefan MAUK (returns from international duty), 36.Matt MILLER (promoted)

Wade Dekker celebrates his goal on debut for Melbourne City against the Sky Blues.

Outs: nil

Unavailable: 3.Aaron HUGHES (calf – 1-2 weeks), 5.Ivan FRANJIC (quad – 4-6 weeks), 7.Corey GAMEIRO (knee – 1 week), 9.Harry NOVILLO (hamstring – 3-4 weeks), 14.James BROWN (foot – TBC), 19.Ben GARUCCIO (foot – 1 week), 26.Marc MARINO (knee – 3 months)

BLUFFER’S GUIDE

New Melbourne Victory captain Carl Valeri has overcome his injury troubles after sitting out Round 1, while coach Kevin Muscat will also have returning Olyroos Jason Geria, Scott Galloway, Giancarlo Callifuoco and Connor Pain at his disposal.

City, meanwhile, are still without a host of talent with Franjic, Novillo, Hughes and Gameiro all missing through injury. Despite the outs they’ll still field a formidable line-up with marquee Aaron Mooy set to start.

Melbourne City midfielder Aaron Mooy celebrates his exquisite free-kick against Glory last season.

The occasion looks set to attract another crowd in excess of 40,000 and may yet eclipse the record 45,202 fans that witnessed the corresponding fixture two seasons ago.

Danny Vukovic will create his own milestone, with the evergreen goalkeeper set to break the league’s appearance record when he walks out for his 229th match – and first Melbourne derby.

OPTA STATS

  • Victory have only lost once against their Melbourne rivals at home in the Hyundai A-League (W4 D3 - inc. finals matches) with their most recent victory coming in last season’s 3-0 semi-final win.
  • The home team have won the last five encounters between these two sides (incl. Finals matches), only failing to keep a clean sheet once.
  • Besart Berisha has scored in the last three home derbies against Melbourne City, scoring five goals.
  • Melbourne City have only managed five away league wins since the start of 2012 (D13 L29). However, one of those wins was against the Victory (1-0 5/10/12).

ROUTE TO GOAL

Victory are yet to open their goal account for the season after last weekend’s stalemate but laid siege to the Reds’ goal before being reduced to 10 men.

Besart Berisha always seems to deliver on the big stage and his appetite for derby goals could spark a repeat of last season’s feeding frenzy in which Victory scored 11 goals across four derby meetings.

4) Besart Berisha (Melbourne Victory) - Overall Rating - 72

But it's not just about Berisha - Finkler on set-piece duty, Pain's pace wide, Ben Khalfallah's canny football brain and Barbarouses' ability to get in behind. So many options. 

Numerous A-League debutants marked their first start with a goal in Round 1. City youngster Wade Dekker was among the scorers and looks set to retain his spot in City’s frontline. 

City striker Bruno Fornaroli certainly won’t be overawed by the occasion having played in Uruguay, Italy and Greece and will be eager to open his A-League goal tally in this one.

FORM LINES

Melbourne Victory will be baying for blood having felt hard-done by to have stand-in skipper Leigh Broxham sent-off in Adelaide in the 0-0 draw, and will be eager to put on a first-up show at home for their bulging membership base.

Meanwhile, City will be buoyed by their performance in the 1-1 draw away to the Sky Blues but know they’ll need to find another gear if they’re to turn around the 3-0 loss to their cross-town rivals in last season’s Finals Series.

 PREDICTION

Melbourne Victory 2 – 1 Melbourne City