Melbourne City FC kick off their 2020 Finals campaign when they host Western United in a Semi-Final at Bankwest Stadium on Wednesday afternoon. Ahead of the must-win clash, we take a look at the five things we're looking forward to.
Finals football is here!
On Wednesday night, Melbourne City FC will look to keep its dream of creating Club history alive when commencing its sixth consecutive Hyundai A-League Finals Series.
Head Coach Erick Mombaerts and his men will be looking to capitalise on their second placed finish, the highest finish in the Club's history.
After defeating Brisbane Roar 1-0 in Sunday's Elimination Final thanks to Captain Alessandro Diamanti's set piece, Western United will be City's opponents in Wednesday night's do or die clash.
A chance to create history
With a place in the 2020 Grand Final on the line, it simply doesn't get much bigger than this.
Both teams are fighting for their first Grand Final berth ever, with this also of course being Western United’s first season in the league. Sydney will face Perth in the second semi-final to determine the other grand finalist for Sunday’s big clash.
City's most recent semi-final appearance was in the 2017/18 season where the side suffered a 2-1 defeat to Newcastle Jets, a result they will be looking to rectify late on Wednesday afternoon.
Maclaren continuing his golden boot form
In last week’s 3-1 win over the same opponent, star striker Jamie Maclaren secured his second A-League Golden Boot award.
Maclaren went into the game tied on 20 goals with Sydney’s Adam Le Fondre and both were two goals ahead of Western United’s Besart Berisha.
A brace to Maclaren ensured he would be the outright winner, capping off a great season. He has scored four goals in City’s three games since the season re-start and goes into finals in red-hot form!
Four from four?
Wednesday's semi-final will be a repeat of the final fixture in the 2019/20 regular season, where City defeated Western United 3-1 last week.
As previously mentioned, City were able to take all three points for the third time and secure a clean sweep of wins against the A-League newcomers.
Youngster Moudi Najjar opened scoring early, finding the back of the net for the first time in his A-League career.
Maclaren scored from the spot not long after half-time before Berisha was able to claw one back for Western United, also from the penalty spot. Maclaren put the finishing touches on the win in the final minutes, tapping home a well-placed cross from Lachie Wales.
City LIVE is back for finals!
City LIVE, presented by McDonald’s is back for its biggest edition yet! With Julian de Stoop away this week, David Davutovic will step in and join Thomas Sorensen from 4:30pm to preview all of the action. The boys will then be back at half-time and full-time to discuss and dissect all of the big talking points out of the match.
Don't miss any of the action on our official YouTube channel, Facebook live or here on our website.
City host Western United on Wednesday 26 August, kick off 5:00pm.