It’s been a long wait - 394 days to be exact - but we’re finally set for the first Melbourne Derby of the season as we face the Victory at Marvel Stadium.
It’s now two wins on the trot for Melbourne City FC after backing up the recent 3-2 victory over Sydney FC with Tuesday night’s triumph away from home against the Wanderers.
The fixture, which on this occasion finished 0-2 in favour of the travelling Melbourne side, continues to be dominated by Jamie Maclaren, with the striker netting twice to make it six goals in his last four games against the team from Sydney’s west.
His first goal came just six minutes into the encounter when Craig Noone intercepted a poor pass out from defence by Keanu Baccus and promptly fed Maclaren through on goal, with the striker finishing the opportunity on his left foot.
There were plenty of chances for City’s attacking force to extend their side’s one-goal lead, with the biggest opportunity arising later in the first half when Andrew Nabbout turned his defender inside-out within the area only to fire his shot into the left upright, the ball rocketing off the post and back into the attacker’s path, though he couldn’t create anything with the follow-up.
Maclaren’s second of the night came as a result of a penalty awarded for a handball by the Wanderers’ James Troisi, with the City striker making no mistake from the spot.
Victory have struggled in the early stages of the new season, finding themselves languishing in 12th place after nine games.
Our cross-town rival looked to get themselves back on track with a much needed 2-0 win over Wellington last week but couldn't repeat the trick in their next fixture.
That result was a 3-4 defeat at the hands of Western United, who were able to net a last-minute winner despite playing the final half hour without Tomislav Uskok who was sent off in the 64th.
City’s backline will need to be wary of Victory’s towering Beninese import Rudy Gestede, with the 6’3” striker having overcome a slow start to score three goals in his last two fixtures.
The two Melbourne teams can’t be separated in terms of dominance of the last five Derbies, with one 2-1 win for each team last campaign being preceded by three consecutive draws before that.
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: 2. Scott GALLOWAY (promoted), 10.Florin BERENGUER-BOHRER (returns from injury), 20. Adrian LUNA (returns from injury).
Unavailable: 8.Aiden O’NEILL (back).
What was said?
"A Derby game is completely different to any game we've played this season. Everything goes out the window, even tactics. Whoever turns up on the night and whoever is the most aggressive wins derbies."
A-League Round 11
Melbourne Victory v Melbourne City FC
Saturday 6 March, kick-off 7:10pm