Victory skipper prepared for physical battle in Big Blue semi
Melbourne Victory skipper Carl Valeri says history will count for little in Saturday night’s semi-final against Sydney FC, admitting his side must be prepared for a titanic battle at Allianz Stadium.
Victory heads to Sydney as outsiders to progress to the Hyundai A-League grand final, having lost seven games in a row against the Sky Blues.
Most of those have been extremely tight affairs, swung in Sydney’s favour by a moment of magic or slight loss of concentration on Victory’s part.
Victory’s losing streak against Graham Arnold’s side includes last season’s decider, which was decided in a penalty-shootout after the sides were locked at 1-1 after 120 minutes.
And Valeri is predicting another tight affair on Saturday night.
"It is going to be a fight. It is going to be a battle," the Victory skipper said
"When I think back (to last year's grand final) I think of a battle. I think of a well-fought battle and the penalty shootout obviously stays in your mind.
"It's an unfair way to lose but someone's got to win and someone's got to lose. I can only commend the boys on the battle we put up that day.
"We're going to have to do more on Saturday.
"We'll definitely be up for the physical side of things if it does go the distance,” the 33-year-old added.
"We're going to grasp (this opportunity) and throw everything we can at it and leave nothing in the tank."
If Victory is to cause the upset, one man they’ll need to stop is Sky Blues talisman Bobo.
The Brazilian marquee has enjoyed a remarkable season, setting a record for 27 goals for the campaign so far, including the winner when the two sides met a fortnight ago.
Like Valeri, Bobo doesn’t place too much weight on recent clashes but says the Sky Blues are fresh and raring to go as they look to progress to a second consecutive home decider.
“For us just another game. We expect a tough game against Melbourne, it always is when we play against them,” Bobo said.
“You have to be prepared for everything. The boys have been good, we’re in good shape and I think Saturday night we’ll put in a great and strong performance.
“We know everything we have to do, we just have to make sure on Saturday night we put it on the pitch.”