Melbourne City FC will be looking to continue its winning run – both in terms of its recent form and history against the opponent – when it takes on Western United on Thursday evening.
A seventh win on the trot could see City leap into first place by the end of the night, but the team would be relying on other results around the league in order to remain there at the end of the round.
Although Thursday's fixture is to be played at AAMI Park, it will be a Western United home match.
History was made last Friday when City defeated Western Sydney in a 4-1 affair that saw the home team claim a club record sixth-consecutive win.
Fans were given an early scare when Bernie Ibini opened the scoring for the visitors, ending City’s run of four-consecutive clean sheets. They were later in awe though, as their side bounced back strongly with a comprehensive and clinical display that saw their team reply with four goals of their own to secure the result.
Following a Craig Noone brace and Andrew Nabbout’s maiden City goal, it was Jamie Maclaren’s 92nd minute volley that had fans in raptures, with the striker setting a new club record by scoring in his sixth-consecutive game.
The 4-1 result was well-deserved by the home side, with the team putting on yet another dazzling display of City football in an encounter they dominated from start to finish.
The opposition for Thursday's game will be a familiar one for City fans, with the club enjoying a perfect record against Western United since their entry into the A-League last campaign.
United haven’t played since the 20th of March when a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Macarthur FC resigned them to 10th place on the table.
With games in-hand on the teams around them however, Western United are still a team that could pose a serious threat to the current winning streak that City enjoys.
Besart Berisha has unsurprisingly been amongst the goals for Western United, having netted five times this season, but the big surprise packet to have emerged from the United camp has been Dylan Pierias and his goalscoring form from right wingback, currently level with Berisha as the team’s leading goalscorer.
The City defence will have to be on their guard when they come up against United’s multi-faceted strike force – orchestrated by last season’s Johnny Warren medallist Alessandro Diamanti – in order to secure a sixth clean sheet of the season.
What was said?
"It'll be a little different playing an away game at AAMI but we still hope to see the fans come out in numbers to fill the away section and make plenty of noise."
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 to be omitted**
In: 4.Nuno REIS (returns from injury), 17.Stefan COLAKOVSKI (promoted).
Unavailable: 8.Aiden O'NEILL (back).
A-League Round 15
Western United vs Melbourne City FC
Thursday 1 April, kick-off 5:35pm