Like last week's final fixture of the regular season, Melbourne City FC will take on Western United on Wednesday night, although this time there is a lot more at stake.
With history on the line for both sides, who will be vying for their respective club's first ever Grand Final appearance, City will be searching for their fourth win in four games over the league's newest side.
Finals can often be a much more defensive contest, so it is only fitting that this week’s key battle looks at two players who will feature prominently in the heart of their respective defences. Both City’s Curtis Good and Western United’s Andrew Durante will be key in deciding which team advances to Sunday’s Grand Final.
Both players have been resilient this year, with Good missing only two games and Durante just the one. Durante has been subbed off three more times but has still played 133 more minutes than Good so far this season.
Good has attempted slightly less tackles this season but does have a far better success rate. He has won 23 of his 32 challenges (71.9%) while Durante has made 15 successful tackles from his 41 attempts (36.6%). Good also has the slight edge in terms of duels, winning 5.1% more on the ground and 4.5% more in the air.
Durante has been the better at reading the play and stopping opposition in that way, making 12 more clearances, 13 more blocks and three more interceptions.
As can be expected from two centre-backs, both have passed the ball well this season.
Good gets on the ball far more often than Durante, making 72 passes per 90 minutes compared to 49.8. Good also looks to go forward with his passes 13.5% more often than Durante.
While he might not get on the ball quite as much and as aggressively as Good, Durante is a little more accurate with his passes, boasting a 90.4% success rate with 58.8% of his long passes finding the target. Good has a passing success rate of 85.3%, and 50% for long passes, both slightly lower although he has made six key passes and recorded an assist. Durante has made just three key passes.
Both players have gotten their name onto the scoresheet after popping up from set-pieces, with Durante finding the back of the net twice and Good once.
They are also both well known to referees across the competition although neither have been sent off this season. Durante has conceded 15 fouls and won 12, while Good has conceded 18 and won 6. Durante has been booked on six occasions and Durante has been booked on three.