Melbourne City FC will be eager to return to winning ways when they host Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
Following three successive losses, City bounced back with a solid performance against Adelaide United at Cooper Stadium last Friday night. Despite controlling most of the game and having several attacking opportunities, City was forced to settle for a 1-1 draw.
Bruno Fornaroli had a golden chance to put the visitors ahead in the 32nd minute, but Paul Izzo saved his penalty. The Reds responded strongly to their earlier lifeline and were rewarded for their efforts when Johan Absalonsen opened the scoring in first-half stoppage time.
It was all one-way traffic in the second-half, as Stefan Mauk equalised against his former side. But City was forced to rue missed opportunities as they settled for a share of the spoils.
City will be determined to return to the winner’s list against the Wanderers this weekend, but it won’t be easy coming up against a side eager to secure their spot in the 2017-18 Finals Series.
Josep Gombau’s men will be full of confidence following their 4-1 win over Wellington Phoenix at Spotless Stadium a fortnight ago.
Brendon Santalab opened the scoring in the 40th minute, before the visitors hit back two minutes later through Sarpreet Singh. With the scores level at half-time, the Wanderers produced a flawless second half performance.
Former Melbourne Heart defender Brendan Hamill netted a 10 minute brace, before Chris Ikonomidis sealed the win with a strike in the last minute of regulation time.
With both teams desperate to secure the three points, Saturday night’s clash is shaping up to be a blockbuster.
It's an unchanged side for City heading into Saturday night's clash. See our full team news.
Last time they met
City travelled to ANZ Stadium on New Year’s Day, where the Wanderers bounced back from an early deficit to secure a 2-1 win.
Ross McCormack opened the scoring in the 25th minute, before the Wanderers hit back with two goals in two minutes. Oriol Riera equalised in the 30th minute, before Mark Bridge handed the hosts the lead and the eventual winner two minutes later.
What was said
Head Coach Warren Joyce
"It's obviously a similar side to last week, I thought it was a good performance. I think the last few weeks has been good without getting what we deserve out of it. There were a lot of positives last week and we are looking to build on that this week and carry that on tomorrow."
Western Sydney Head Coach Josep Gombau
"We need to see this as a big picture, this week we start against Melbourne City and it's important we come back with three points. I think it will be a tough game. It's part of the last four games of the competition and every single team wants to achieve their goals and be in the finals."
Where and when
City host Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park on Saturday night, kick-off 7:50pm (AEDT).
The match will be broadcast live on Fox Sports 501. You can also follow all the actions as it happens by following our official Twitter account @MelbourneCity.