5 things to look forward to: Melbourne Derby

It’s not just any old derby, it’s the Melbourne Christmas Derby

It’s pretty self-explanatory if you ask us – a Melbourne Derby at AAMI Park on Saturday night, TWO SLEEPS out from Christmas – what’s not to look forward to?

Kick-start your festive season celebrations in style and head to Melbourne’s Rectangular Stadium for 90 minutes of entertainment, excitement and most importantly enjoyment.

Don’t forget to pack your newly-used sports equipment and play your role in the gift of giving this season by donating to the ‘Boots for All’ enterprise.

Boots for All help break down barriers to sport participation and strengthen communities through the distribution of sporting goods – Boots for All collection points will be located around the stadium.

Throw the form guide out the window

City have won six games this season, Victory three, but this is a derby and anything is possible.

When the game is in the balance there is no doubt that previous form and team tactics will play a role, but at the end of the day this is the Melbourne Derby.

It’s the game that footballers play football for, and the match that supporters mark down in their diaries.

The stage is set for a moment of individual brilliance, for someone to step up and grab the limelight and for one team to claim the city’s bragging rights.  

City have already done it once this season, an opportunity now presents itself for them to double their lead.

Defensive resilience

City’s defensive numbers have been a reflection of their efforts at the back this season.

City has conceded 13 goals so far this season, second to league leaders Sydney FC. In contrast, Melbourne Victory has conceded 17 goals, which is the third highest number in the competition.

Furthermore, Joyce’s side has kept four clean sheets – an impressive number that they will be looking to extend.

An organised defensive unit will play a key role come Saturday night, and there is no doubt that the home side will be backing their system.

Three from three

 City will be looking to extend their impressive derby record this season, as the tally currently stands at three wins from three matches. 

The A-League, W-League and Youth League teams have all won their matches against their city rivals. The most recent of those results being City Youth’s 9-2 derby demolition earlier this mont. 

One man who starred in that performance, was 18-year-old Daniel Arzani. If given the opportunity to do so on Saturday night, there is no doubt that the youngster will attack the contest without any fear.

The attacker showed glimpses of his footballing ability in his second-half cameo last week against the league leaders and reigning champions Sydney FC.

He’s a player with x-factor, pace and skill, a lethal combination for any player to defend.

A battle of inches

 City has been solid in defence this season, which may be a reflection of why they are six points clear of their city rivals on the league ladder. But when it comes to attacking football, the numbers are frighteningly similar.

From 11 matches this season both teams have registered 46 shots on target, City has netted 14 of those opportunities while Victory has scored one more.

The two sides are separated by a mere 0.20% when it comes to passing accuracy and 2.60% in shooting accuracy, both in Victory’s favour.

In contrast, Victory have only kept one clean sheet so far this season – a statistic the home side will be looking to exploit.

Despite the numbers, the equation is fairly clear – who dares, wins.