Socceroos star Tim Cahill and Danish defender Michael Jakobsen are in line to make their home debut when Melbourne City FC take on Western Sydney Wanderers in the FFA Cup Quarter Final at AAMI Park on Wednesday night.
Cahill experienced his first taste of domestic cup action during City’s 2-1 Round of 16 win over Brisbane Strikers, with Head Coach John van’t Schip hinting at a first competitive start for the Socceroos striker in a “very important” clash against the Wanderers.
"Tim has been training very well. He has had an interrupted pre-season, but he is also coming out of a period of playing in China and had a bit of a rest. It's not that he had a very long off-season but he still had three or four weeks he didn't do anything," van 't Schip said.
"He had a big impact with the Socceroos. He looks good, he feels good, he's ready to play."
van’t Schip said new defender Jakobsen is physically fit and ready to make his first appearance for the Club.
“He (Jakobsen) is in good condition because he came out of a league playing in Norway [with Lillestrom],’’ van’t Schip said. “It was more about him getting used to the boys and the way we play.”
“He hasn’t played so we’ll see what the best way of giving him a go is. He’s a player we normally want to have in the starting line-up.
“He showed that he has a very good pedigree, he’s a good defender and he’s a good age. We expect a lot from him.”
City fielded a youthful starting XI in a pre-season defeat to Newcastle Jets on Sunday, but van’t Schip insists little can be read into that result with the focus firmly placed on keeping key players fit and firing for the Quarter Final tie.
“We’re approaching this game as a final because it’s a cup game,’’ van’t Schip said.
“It's already a big game because of the importance of the FFA Cup, winning and going into the semi-final.”
“We want to win and that’s how we’re approaching it. We’re not seeing it as a build-up game, we want to perform at our best.’’
van’t Schip hailed the quality of new marquee signing Nicolas Colazo after the Argentine was officially unveiled as a City player on Tuesday.
Colazo trained with his new teammates for the first time at AAMI Park and will provide City with added South American flair alongside Uruguayan Bruno Fornaroli and countryman Fernando Brandan.
"He played on a high level in Argentina with Boca, They are the biggest club, together with River Plate, in Argentina,” van't Schip said. “He has been a big part of playing in that team.”
"We are happy that we can get him in. He can play up front, midfield or even in defence, so he’s a versatile player. He has a good left foot, good qualities and is strong.
“He has been training for the past few months with Boca, so he’s in a good physical state, but match fitness we still have to find out yet.”