Melbourne City FC will aim to book its place in the FFA Cup Final for the first time when John van’t Schip’s side take on Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Tuesday night.
Two Melbourne Derbies in the space of two weeks; this is what football is all about.
The magic of the cup has thrown up some intriguing contests throughout its history, but tomorrow night’s Melbourne Derby Semi Final is looming as one of the most anticipated clashes yet.
The two fierce rivals will lock horns in the FFA Cup for the very first time, although it will be their second meeting in the space of 10 days after John van’t Schip’s side romped home to a 4-1 league win over Victory at Etihad Stadium.
A clash which will be forever remembered thanks to Tim Cahill’s wonder strike on A-League debut, City’s high-pressing game simply proved too much for Kevin Muscat’s side to handle.
But it would be foolish to be expect a similar result on Tuesday night, especially with a spot in the FFA Cup Final on the line.
Form goes out the window when it comes to derby clashes, and this is no exception.
A disappointing home reverse against Perth Glory last week means City enters the Semi Final clash with contrasting fortunes, as Marco Rojas’ late winner handed Victory all three points away to reigning champions Adelaide United.
Despite being drawn as the ‘away’ side, City will take great comfort from its formidable Derby record at AAMI Park, emerging with wins in three of the past four encounters at the venue.
With Sydney FC awaiting in the finale and the season’s first piece of silverware on the line, it promises to be 90 minutes of football to savour.
City qualified for its second consecutive Semi Final after goals to Michael Jakobsen, Bruno Fornaroli, Tim Cahill and Fernando Brandan secured a resounding 4-1 win over Western Sydney Wanderers at AAMI Park.
van’t Schip’s side safely negotiated two tricky away trips with consecutive 2-1 wins over member federation clubs Floreat Athena and Brisbane Strikers prior to that emphatic performance against the Wanderers.
Victory have looked solid throughout their FFA Cup campaign, conceding only once in wins over Newcastle Jets (3-1), Hume City (1-0) and Bentleigh Greens (2-0)
Bruce Kamau is under an injury cloud after copping a nasty whack to the head against Perth Glory last week, while marquee man Nicolas Colazo is also in doubt after missing out against the Glory with an ear complaint.
There are no such worries surrounding the fitness of Luke Brattan, however, with van’t Schip confirming the midfield maestro is fit and firing ahead of Tuesday night.
From the dressing room
“Every game is new and different. We played different Derbies the last few years, you win one and the next one it's totally different. The only difference this time is that it’s over a very short period you play each other two times so we just focus on what we have to do, what we want to do, the way that we want to play. – City Head Coach John van’t Schip
Join us at AAMI Park!
Tickets for the Melbourne Derby Semi Final are available here. Alternatively you can follow all the match action on Twitter by following @melbournecity, or by using the hashtags #MelbDerby and #FFACup.
The match will be broadcast live and exclusive on FOX SPORTS 4 (Channel 505).
Westfield FFA Cup 2016 Semi Finals – Match Day 2
Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City FC
Tuesday 25 October 2016
AAMI Park, Melbourne
Kick-off: 7:30pm local (7:30pm AEDT)
Referee: Shaun Evans
Assistant Referee 1: Luke Brennan
Assistant Referee 2: Wilson Brown
Fourth Official: Jonathan Barreiro
Tickets: Click here for ticketing details
TV Broadcast: 7.00pm (AEDT) Live and exclusive on FOX SPORTS 4 (Channel 505)
Radio Broadcast: 774 ABC Melbourne, Grandstand Digital, Online and via the ABC Radio Mobile App
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tags #MelbDerby #FFACup
Melbourne Victory squad: 2.Jason Geria, 4.Nicholas Ansell, 5.Daniel Georgievski, 6.Leigh Broxham, 7.Marco Rojas, 8.Besart Berisha, 11.Mitch Austin, 13.Oliver Bozanic,14.Fahid Ben Khalfallah, 15.Alan Baro, 16.Rashid Mahazi, 17.James Donachie, 19.George Howard, 20.Lawrence Thomas (gk), 21.Carl Valeri, 22.Stefan Nigro, 23.Jai Ingham,25.Sebastian Pasquali, 27.Alastair Bray (gk)
Unavailable: 10.James Troisi (collarbone)
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Thomas Sorensen (gk), 2.Manny Muscat, 3.Josh Rose, 4.Connor Chapman, 6.Osama Malik, 8.Neil Kilkenny, 9.Nicolas Colazo, 10.Anthony Caceres, 11.Bruce Kamau, 12.Nick Fitzgerald, 14.Daniel Arzani, 17.Tim Cahill, 18.Paulo Retre, 20.Dean Bouzanis (gk), 21.Ruon Tongyik, 22.Michael Jakobsen, 23.Bruno Fornaroli, 26.Luke Brattan, 27.Fernando Brandan
Unavailable: 7.Corey Gameiro (ACL – season), 28.Steve Kuzmanovski (international duty)