Following two consecutive losses on the road, City are back at AAMI Park, eager to return to winning ways.
The team in City blue suffered a disappointing 2-0 loss to Sydney FC at Jubilee Stadium in Round 17, undone by goals in the first and last 10 minutes of the match.
Luke Ivanovic opened the scoring in the ninth minute for the hosts, after Milos Ninkovic pounced on a turnover in the midfield to punish the visitors. City had a flurry of chances to hit back, with opportunities falling to Lachlan Wales and second-half substitute Dario Vidosic.
With 11 minutes of regulation time to play, Head Coach Warren Joyce’s side had a golden opportunity to make it 1-1 after Bart Schenkeveld was fouled inside the penalty area. Riley McGree stepped up to take the resulting penalty kick, although his effort was well saved by Sky Blues shot-stopper Andrew Redmayne.
As City pushed for an equaliser, Sydney secured the three points with a goal to Adam Le Fondre on the counter attack.
City will be looking to leapfrog Adelaide United into fourth position with a win over the Reds on Saturday night, a task that won’t be easy against the side that staged a remarkable comeback last weekend.
Brisbane Roar took a 3-0 lead at Coopers Stadium when Adam Taggart fired the Roar's third goal home in the 43rd minute, before Isaias produced a magnificent free-kick to peg a goal back for the Reds on the stroke of half-time.
The captain’s individual piece of brilliance seemed to spark his side into action, as Adelaide put three goals past the Roar in the second-half to stage a remarkable 4-3 come-from-behind victory. Goals to Craig Goodwin and George Blackwood squared the ledger, before Nikola Mileusnic was the late hero latching onto a ball and nodding home in the seventh minute of additional time.
City will be desperate to extend their unbeaten run against the Reds to six games on the trot as they look to restore their position in the top-four.
Last time they met
The last time the two teams met was in Round 8, when City defeated Adelaide 2-0 at Coopers Stadium.
Jordan Elsey’s own goal opened the scoring in the 25th minute, as the central defender’s attempted clearance from Riley McGree’s cross found the back of his own net. Five minutes after the break, City secured the three points as Luke Brattan’s low drive beat Paul Izzo for pace and power.
City’s two new signings have been added to the extended squad. See full team news here.
What was said
Melbourne City attacker Jamie Maclaren
“It’s the perfect time to be back, and I can’t wait to represent Melbourne City. I’m really proud to be a Melbourne City player and I can’t wait to get out there and hit the ground running.”
Where and when
City host Adelaide at AAMI Park on Saturday 9 February, kick-off 7:50pm, before taking on Newcastle at McDonald Jones Stadium on Friday 15 February. Click here to get your tickets for this Saturday night's clash.