Ahead of Melbourne City FC’s Hyundai A-League season opener against Sydney FC, we examine four key players who could lead John van’t Schip’s team to victory at Allianz Stadium.
Arguably the best midfielder in the Hyundai A-League, City’s new Australian Marquee is set for another big season.
After an interrupted start to pre-season, Mooy has starred for City in its three FFA Cup games, with a superb hat-trick against Heidelberg United seeing him as the competition’s top scorer with six goals.
His form on the international stage has also been excellent, impressing for the Socceroos in recent starts against Bangladesh and Tajikistan – which included a stunning long-range goal.
After leading the Club in goals and assists last season, Mooy’s searching passing range and ability to make runs into the box from deep makes him a vital member of the team and crucial to City’s chance of success.
The spearhead of a City attack brimming with confidence, ‘El Tuna’ has made an excellent start to life in Melbourne.
The Uruguayan striker was instrumental in the Club’s Westfield FFA Cup demolitions of Wellington Phoenix and Heidelberg United, netting three goals in his first two competitive matches.
His ability to drop deep and get involved in the build-up play has benefited the likes of Mooy and Robi Koren in midfield, while his cool head in-front of goal makes him a dangerous proposition for any A-League defence.
After enduring a difficult debut season, Koren is primed to stamp his authority on the A-League in 2015/16.
The Club’s International Marquee has been tearing up the track during pre-season, putting his injury troubles behind him and excelling during the Westfield FFA Cup wins over the Phoenix and Heidelberg.
A move to a more central position has seen him forge a devastating understanding with Mooy and Fornaroli in the final third, and the Slovenian will be eager to continue his good form against Sydney FC.
Despite the focus surrounding the Club’s impressive attack, new left-back Zullo will provide City with added steel in the wide positions.
The former Utrecht man will look to venture forward at every opportunity, providing energy to overlap and compliment the strikers, while using his searing pace to track-back and thwart opposition attacks.
With Ivan Franjic and Aaron Hughes set to miss the season opener, Zullo’s experience in Europe and internationally will be essential in quelling the threat posed by Graham Arnold’s side.