Melbourne City FC will be looking to bounce back from a disappointing result last round when it takes on Melbourne Victory in what will be the final Melbourne Derby of the regular season.
City last week travelled to Adelaide where it suffered a 3-1 defeat to an impressive United outfit at Coopers Stadium. The Reds scored early through Ben Halloran, but Craig Noone equalised just minutes later for City after he was at fault for the opening goal.
Halloran had his second in the 41st minute before George Blackwood made it three just seconds before half time with all of the home teams goals coming from corners. It was one of City’s most disappointing performances of the seasons and now sees it sit just one point in front of Glory for second spot with Perth still having a game in hand.
After three consecutive losses, Victory had a positive result last week, drawing 2-2 away from home against Perth.
Victory led twice in the game and looked set to claim all three points before a 90th minute header from Nick D’Agostino ensured the points would be shared.
While Victory has won just four games this season and sits ninth in the competition, their front third still poses many threats with the likes of Ola Toivonen, Andrew Nabbout and Robbie Kruse capable of making it a tough night for the City defence.
After allowing three goals from corners last week, the City back four will be desperate for a better performance and the derby will provide a massive challenge in depth with Harrison Delbridge suspended, Jack Hendry injured and of course, Richard Windbichler the player Hendry had come in to replace, still injured.
City will also be in need of a better performance in the heart of midfield, with chances limited in attack.
There's a lot on the line for both sides as we prepare for an enthralling clash under Friday night lights.
Last time they met
The last meeting between teams was the Christmas Derby back in December where Victory were able to pick up an important win at AAMI Park.
A first half double from Ola Toivonen had Victory in the box seat at half-time and while City found an early goal in the second half through Harrison Delbridge, it wasn’t enough to earn a share of the points.
A couple of big outs and an important inclusion headlines this week's team news. See who's in and who's out.
What was said
Melbourne City FC attacker Markel Susaeta
"Derbies are always special for everybody, doesn’t matter where in the world they are."
Following the derby, City will have just one match before its second last bye of the season. This will be played against the Wellington Phoenix with City travelling to Auckland for the fixture which will be played on Saturday the 15th of February.
Following the bye, City’s next home game will be held on Sunday 1 March and will be a double header with City’s Women's team, in their last match before the finals. Get your tickets here!