The Time For Talking's Over

The final press conference is over before tomorrow's season finale

The final press conference before the big one is over and the contenders are ready for the title fight.

Both challengers for this season-s crown are in the last stages of preparation for the final battle of the season at the Etihad stadium.

The coaches and two players from each side were in attendance at the conference in Melbourne and looked fairly relaxed with just over 24hours before the kick-off.

Despite meeting in the inaugural A-League match on the 28th August 2005, the two biggest sides in Australian football have never faced one another in a final.

Archie Thompson scored that day, as he did last time the two sides met, just under a fortnight ago at the Sydney Football Stadium and he-s hoping to repeat that feat.

“I love scoring against anyone, but it-d be one of my favourite ever goals if I scored tomorrow in front of our own fans” said Thompson.

Victory coach Ernie Merrick summed up the final in one statement: “The fact is that the two top teams over the season are playing off in the Grand Final and that is the ideal scenario.”

On paper Melbourne should go into the match as slight favourites after the Major Semi Final win over Sydney, plus the sky blues are also missing two of their stars (Aloisi and Corica).

Captain Kevin Muscat echoed his coach-s earlier comments about not being interested in who-s the underdog or favourite.

“We-ve always maintained that we-ll worry about what we do and try and turn up tomorrow and achieve what we know we can.”

Sydney does face some selection headaches but Coach Vitezslav Lavicka was keeping his cards his cards close to his chest.

“I almost know my starting line-up for tomorrow but there-s one last question mark.”

Melbourne-s preparation has also been aided by having an extra time off ahead of the finals.

Coach Ernie Merrick said the players really benefitted from the break.

“It-s been a prefect build up for us, the boys got the weekend off and the rest and recuperation was important.”

Sydney FC captain Terry McFlynn was confident that his side could overcome the home team though.

“There-s a real belief that we can start something here, we-ve won the minor premiership and we-re going to give it our best shot.”

Sydney has after all already beaten their opposition twice this season and will know their opposition well.

Melbourne Victory replied with a 4-3 aggregate win in the Major Semi final so if the form books are anything to go by it could go either way.

This makes the tie all the more interesting, especially when throughout the A-League history there are only a couple of points and goals between the two, so the winner of this epic battle is anyone-s guess!

The closing comments from Melbourne Victory skipper Kevin Muscat summed up the match perfectly.

“The atmosphere-s going to be the best ever at Etihad, it-s going to be full and it-ll be an unbelievable day.”

There are still a few tickets left though but you-ll have to be quick if you want to see Australian football history, as the first A-League final between the country-s biggest rivals will have a large contingent of fans from both clubs in attendance.