The first match of 2018/19 Hyundai A-League season is upon us as City takes on Victory at the newly re-named Marvel Stadium (nee Etihad Stadium).
After the Club's strongest pre-season on the training tack, Warren Joyce’s men will be looking to get off to the best possible start against their fierce rivals.
Fresh off a 4-1 demolition of Western Sydney in Shepparton, City will be looking to build on their pre-season form and carry the winning momentum through to their Round 1 clash.
With four individual goal scorers finding the back of the net against the Wanderers - Harrison Delbridge, Florin Berenguer, Dario Vidosic and Riley McGree - there is no doubt that Joyce would be pleased with the output of his players.
Despite City going unbeaten in eight of their nine pre-season matches against A-League opposition, the task won’t be easy on Saturday night as they come up against the reigning champions.
Kevin Muscat’s Melbourne Victory will be just as eager to kick-off their 2018/19 Hyundai A-League campaign on a high, as they too seek the city’s bragging rights.
Japanese legend Keisuke Honda is likely to play for Victory with the marquee man stealing the headlines over the pre-season however there are doubts over Swede Ola Toivonen and Carl Valeri for the contest.
Warren Joyce has named a strong squad for the season opener at Marvel Stadium. Seven Young Socceroos will miss the chance to make the Derby squad with Nathaniel Atkinson being the most established of the group. Osama Malik and Michael O'Halloran will also miss the match through calf and hamstring injuries respectively.
Last time they met
It was Derby heartbreak for City last time out as they went down to Victory 2-1 in Round 22 at AAMI Park last season.
Kosta Barbarouses opened the scoring in the 12th minute, before Bruno Fornaroli equalised from the spot 10 minutes into the second period. Eight minutes later, Leroy George found the back of the net and secured the three points for the visitors.
What was said
Head Coach Warren Joyce
"Who ever you (would be) playing tomorrow night, you'd want to win the game. You've got to give them respect but no respect - the respect they deserve."
"What matters is what happens on the grass. Everybody's got two arms and two legs and that's how we treat everyone we're playing against."
Melbourne Victory midfielder Keisuke Honda
“I also had lot of derby experience, so I know how important this game is. The first experience for me is the derby and the beginning of the season and this is unusual."
Where and when
City take on Victory at Marvel Stadium on Saturday 20 October, kick-off 7:50pm.