Round 26 is here as City take on Adelaide United on Friday night. See all the points, stats and quotes ahead of the encounter.
Melbourne City will look to return to winning ways in the familiar surrounds of AAMI Park on Friday night as they take on Adelaide United in the penultimate round of the regular season.
Coming off two losses to the high-flying Western Sydney Wanderers and Sydney FC, City will have the chance to bounce back against last season’s Champions Adelaide United.
The Reds will have nothing but pride to play for, already mathematically out of the race for the top six but despite their plight, Guillermo Amor’s side have gone four games unbeaten in the league, taking the scalp of Brisbane Roar and holding Perth Glory last week.
With a home final to play for, it will be all on the line for City as they look to gather winning momentum heading into the first week of finals.
City Head Coach Michael Valkanis has added the experienced trio of Michael Jakobsen, Neil Kilkenny and Osama Malik to his squad for the contest. See the full team news.
The last time
Thursday night football at Coopers Stadium wasn’t a memorable one for City as a late Adelaide United counter attack saw a desperate Reds side pick up three points.
The visitors got off to the perfect start as Bruno Fornaroli opened the scoring after just four minutes, finishing off a brilliant cutback from Bruce Kamau.
The visitors got their reply through Dylan McGowan and knuckled down behind the ball to weather a City onslaught. It was Adelaide however who would pick up the late win through Mark Ochieng’s top-corner strike, capping off the unlikeliest of wins for Adelaide.
Stats and facts
Melbourne City are hunting for consecutive home wins against the Reds for the first time in A-League history after notching a 2-1 win when these teams last met in Melbourne.
Melbourne City (433) and Adelaide United (395) have won more fouls than anyone else this season.
Bruno Fornaroli (97) needs just three more to become the first player to win 100 fouls this season; no other player has won more than 71 (Andrew Hoole).
What was said this week
“We know how important these two games are as a team and for me personally. We need to perform and make sure we are ready for the Finals because there are not many places across the world where you get this second chance.”
“We’ve seen Adelaide’s form in the last couple of week and there is no way we can take this game easy. They still have a lot to play for [in the Asian Champions League] and we need to make sure we do everything we can to get the three points.”
Adelaide defender Michael Marrone
“We touched on it a few weeks’ ago that we didn’t want to finish bottom. We’re not bottom at the moment but we have to keep going to make sure we stay off there. The good thing now is, because we can’t make the (top) six, there’s going to be teams that look at us as points. Maybe they’ll go a little bit harder and they’re a bit more exposed at the back and we can get some goals.”
“I think as a whole the last three or four games we’ve looked a lot better the way we’ve been playing. We spoke about that again that we needed to play well in the A-League to get some momentum for the Champions League. I think that’s started to happen we just need to continue on that way.”
Where and when
City face Adelaide United on Friday night, kick-off 7.50pm.
Make sure you are there for our final home match of the season as we take on Adelaide in what is set to be an important clash on the road to Finals. Secure your place at the match today!