Melbourne City FC will be looking to return to form on Tuesday night when it hosts Sydney FC at AAMI Park in a massive Grand Final re-match.
Tickets are still available for what is shaping up to be a ripping night of quality football, click here to get yours now!
By the time Tuesday night rolls around it will have been 16 days since Patrick Kisnorbo’s squad last took to the pitch.
That came in Newcastle with the result ending 1-0 in favour of the home side, continuing City’s run of disappointing form.
There’s no doubt the boys were eager to get back on the pitch and bounce back quickly but with the Club’s last two fixtures postponed due to border restrictions and this match also being pushed back a week, City will finally get that opportunity on Tuesday.
It’s been a big couple of weeks on the training pitch and with close to a fully fit squad to pick from, Kisnorbo will have some big calls to make on who makes the cut for the starting XI.
One player who has benefitted from the long lay-off between games is Portuguese centre back Nuno Reis.
After having to be rushed to Newcastle due to City’s dwindling depth at centre back, Reis started and played a full 90 minutes despite having just one training session with the senior squad.
Now with a full couple of weeks of work on the training pitch under his belt, expect Reis to look even better and cause plenty of issues for the likes of Kosta Barbarouses and Milos Ninkovic.
Another player who City fans will be excited to see out on the pitch is winger Andrew Nabbout.
The Socceroo was one of City’s biggest signings over the off-season but unfortunately suffered a hamstring injury after impressing throughout the Club’s pre-season friendlies.
He was named in the squad for the eventually postponed fixture in Round 8 against the Wanderers so expect him to be ready and raring to go on Tuesday night.
Tuesday will be the first time City has faced Sydney FC since last season’s Grand Final which ended in a 1-0 win to the Sky Blues. While it is a new season and that’s now in the past, City will be eager to reverse that result and put on a good showing at home.
Andrew Nabbout (hamstring) and Rostyn Griffiths (quad) have both recovered from their respective injuries and have been named in City's squad for Tuesday night. Young defender Kerrin Stokes also returns to the squad after having served a one-match suspension in our last fixture.
Melbourne City FC squad
1.Tom GLOVER (gk), 2.Scott GALLOWAY, 3. Scott JAMIESON (c), 4. Nuno REIS, 7. Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 9.Jamie MACLAREN, 10.Florin BERENGUER-BOHRER, 11.Craig NOONE, 13. Nathaniel ATKINSON, 14.Naoki TSUBAKI, 15. Andrew NABBOUT, 16.Taras GOMULKA, 17.Stefan COLAKOVSKI, 18.Connor METCALFE, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20. Adrian LUNA, 22.Curtis GOOD, 23.Marco TILIO, 33.Matthew SUTTON (gk), 36. Kerrin STOKES.
**2-4 to be omitted**
In: 7. Rostyn GRIFFITHS (returns from injury), 15. Andrew NABBOUT (returns from injury), 36. Kerrin STOKES (returns from suspension).
Out: 43. Alec MILLS (not selected).
Unavailable: 8. Aiden O’NEILL (back).
What was said
"We've fallen short of what we've expected of we've expected of ourselves. What a great opportunity (Tuesday night is) to try and turn the tide and beat the current champions."
A-League Round 9
Melbourne City FC v Sydney FC
Tuesday 23 February, kick-off 7.05pm