City will kick off the 2017/18 season with a bang, hosting Brisbane Roar in what will be the clubs first home opener at AAMI Park since the 2010/11 season.
Warren Joyce’s men head into the clash off the back of consecutive pre-season wins against both Western Sydney Wanderers and more recently a 2-0 win on the road against Adelaide United.
The Roar are also hitting some form at the right time despite an early poor run of results. A premature exit from the FFA Cup in the Round of 32 coupled with heavy losses to Melbourne Victory and the Wanderers in friendlies looked ominous for the Roar but a moral-boosting 2-0 win against Champions Sydney FC has John Aloisi’s men primed for Round 1.
Both sides are known for their goal-scoring prowess and we think Friday night will be no different. Brisbane’s marquee man Massimo Maccarone is in blistering form, with the Italian striker scoring 6 goals since joining the club in the pre-season while City’s new signing Ross McCormack will be fit and raring to go in his first match for the Club.
It looks set to be an intriguing opening clash with both sides heading into the unknown in Round 1.
Warren Joyce will take a strong line up into his first A-League match with the Head Coach having selection dilemmas aplenty in terms of the competition in each position.
Tim Cahill will be away on international duty while Neil Kilkenny was close to being fit after overcoming the flu last week but both players are expected to be back for the Melbourne Derby. Click here to see the full squad.
Last time they met
The honours were shared in the last contest between the sides in what was a compelling contest at AAMI Park.
City saw its young battalion head out onto the pitch after a range of injuries and suspensions plagued the side and it got a whole lot worse for the hosts as Jamie Maclaren took the Roar to an early two-goal lead.
The second half saw City dig in their heels and claw the deficit back through Bruce Kamau and Nicolas Colazo from the penalty spot to pick up a point but more importantly, show the side’s true grit under pressure.
Stats and facts
• Three of the last six games between these clubs has ended in a draw, including each of the last two.
• Melbourne City are undefeated in their last nine home games against Brisbane Roar, with the Queensland side’s last victory against the in Melbourne coming in November 2010.
• Melbourne City found the opening goal of the game on 19 occasions last season, the second- most of any team in the competition behind Sydney FC (20).
What was said
Head Coach Warren Joyce
“Obviously we’re looking forward to it, this has been a big pre-season. You just want to win every game but we need to concentrate on tomorrow night first. We’ll aim to win tomorrow night and then we aim to the next game and that’s how it will be all season”
Brisbane Head Coach John Aloisi
“Brisbane Roar always expect to win. We expect to be there at the end of the season competing. It’ll be no different this year and we believe we have a great squad who will be ready this weekend.”
Where and When
City will host the Roar at AAMI Park on Friday night, kick off at 7:50pm. Click here to get your tickets to the match and don’t forget to head to City Square pre-game to join in the fun including Stomping Grounds pop-up bar.