The Feb Derby is here as City host Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Friday 7 January. See the five things we're looking forward to ahead of what is set to be an enthralling encounter.
Third and final Melbourne Derby
City will be seeking their first crosstown bragging rights of the season when they host Melbourne Victory in the third and final Melbourne Derby of the regular season.
The first two derbies didn't go to plan for City, with the season opener ending 0-0 and Victory winning the Christmas Derby 2-1. With City eager to secure the three points, the Feb Derby comes at a crucial time for Erick Mombaerts' side.
After last week's disappointment in Adelaide, City now sit in second spot just one point ahead of Perth who also has a game in hand. A win this weekend is key not only for bragging rights but also to ensure City keep a hold of second spot which guarantees a home semi-final.
After joining the Club in January, Markel Susaeta will suit up this weekend for his first derby in City colours.
After coming off the bench to debut against Newcastle a few weeks ago, he has started City’s last two games, showing glimpses of what he's capable of. This will be by far the biggest game he’s played in for the Club and expect him to stand up and show the experience of his 379 game La Liga career.
A chance to bounce back
Last week’s trip to Adelaide was one to forget, with the home team coming out on top 3-1.
It was one of the most disappointing performances of the season, but the good news is this weekend will be the perfect chance to bounce back. After a tough season so far, which has yielded just four league wins, Victory will be fired up and will provide a big challenge as they look for a repeat of the Christmas Derby result.
Depth standing up
City’s defensive depth will be seriously tested this weekend with three centre-backs missing from the squad. Harrison Delbridge will watch from the sidelines after being red-carded last round, while Jack Hendry also suffered an injury in the final minutes of the game which will see him miss an extended period of time.
Of course, the player that Hendry came in to replace, Richard Windbichler is also still nursing his hamstring injury.
This will leave Erick Mombaerts with a tough decision for who he chooses to bring in to partner Curtis Good. Rostyn Griffiths has spent time at centre-back this year while Josh Brillante also could be an option, or even 17-year-old Kerrin Stokes who impressed in the Y-League and has appeared on the bench before for the first team.
Only February home game
With a bye to come in the already short month of February, City plays just three games and the derby will be the only one held at AAMI Park.
Derby tickets can be purchased here and the match will kick off at 7:30pm this Friday night.
With this being the last derby of the season and your only chance to see City at home in the next few weeks, it’s the perfect time to head to AAMI Park and support the team!