The testing fixtures continue for Melbourne City this Friday night as they face reigning Champions Sydney FC at Allianz Stadium.
City come into the clash defeating teams above and below them on the ladder in Newcastle and the Central Coast and face their biggest challenge, taking on the rampant Sydneysiders.
This week’s opponents will be coming into the contest with a head of steam, defeating their cross-town rivals Western Sydney 5-0 last week with no signs of the FC juggernaut halting.
City will be out to spoil Sydney’s party with a solid record at Allianz Stadium over the past three seasons and will look to use their own momentum to challenge the league leaders.
It will be the third time the sides have met, going head to head in the 2017 FFA Cup and Round 5 of the A-League.
Last time they met
A sole goal from Luke Wilkshire separated the sides in November as Sydney handed City its first loss of the season.
In a tight contest, chances were few and far between as Wilkshire’s miss-hit volley fortuitously bounced over the head of Iacopo La Rocca on the line to give his side the points on the night.
Stats and facts
- Melbourne City have picked up competition points in three of their last four visits to Allianz Stadium to face the Sky Blues (W1, D2, L1), though the last time they managed more than one goal in a such a fixture was in 2011 (won 4-0).
- Melbourne City picked up a 2-1 win on their last trip to New South Wales, and will now be looking for back-to-back victories in the state for the first time since December 2015.
- Melbourne City have managed 16 shots on target from outside the box this campaign, more than any other club in the competition and six more than Sydney FC.
What was said
Melbourne City Head Coach Warren Joyce
“It's a massive task, a massive challenge but you have to relish that as a footballer and coach as well.
“You want to play in the big games, you want to measure where you are as a team and individually so everyone is looking forward to the challenge.
“The last game was close and tight and a miss-hit shot that got them the 1-0 win. It was close but we've got to build on that. We've got to go into the game with no fear and be on the front foot.
Sydney FC Head Coach Graham Arnold
“I analysed them [City] for their weaknesses and I’ve seen quite a few that I expect to expose tomorrow night," he said.
“I know that when we prepare properly and that the subconscious mind is clear, that when that happens we expect to beat everyone. I think tomorrow night will be our greatest performance of the season.
“I expect a greater performance this week than what we gave against the Wanderers.”
Where and when
Melbourne City face Sydney FC on Friday night at Allianz Stadium, kick-off 7.50pm. See the match on FOX Sports 501.
City are back at home next Saturday night for the massive Melbourne Derby at AAMI Park, kick-off 7.50pm. Get your tickets for the match today!