The final match of the 2017/18 pre-season is here as Melbourne City takes on Western Sydney at Shepparton Sports City in Shepparton.
It was only this time last month that both teams went head-to-head in the FFA Cup Quarter Finals in what was a disappointing night for Warren Joyce’s men who bowed out of the cup competition.
Joyce admitted post-match that his side’s loss was much of their own doing and they’ll be out to atone the result at AAMI Park, albeit in a pre-season friendly.
The match will also be the all-important final hit-out before the Round 1 Melbourne Derby and a positive performance in this match will set the tone for both sides in the opening round.
The Wanderers come into the contest after a Semi Final derby loss to Sydney FC and Markus Babbel’s men will want to avoid back-to-back losses heading into the season.
City will be without Michael O'Halloran for 8-12 weeks who sustained a hamstring injury while Rostyn Griffiths will sit out the match with a suspension after picking up two yellow cards in a friendly against Perth last week. The defensive midfielder will be eligible for the Round 1 Melbourne Derby.
What was said
Melbourne City defender Bart Schenkeveld
“If we scored our chances (against Western Sydney in the FFA Cup), I thought it would be 4 or 5-nil and the game would have been over,” he said.
“We have to learn to deal with situations like that and not let missed opportunities throw us in our search for the win. We lost that game from our own doing and you see that the competition will punish you for bad games so you have to deliver and have to keep your standards high.
“Friday will give us the opportunity to work on things that we did not do well in the match and I feel it will help us understand what we need to do when we face teams like that in the season.”
Melbourne City FC midfielder Anthony Caceres
“You know, we want to involve as many people as possible and hopefully help the club and the sport grow within Melbourne and Australia so we are looking forward to getting out to Shepparton.
Hopefully there’s a good turn-out and we can put on a decent show for the people out in Shepparton.”
Where and when
City take on Western Sydney on Friday night at Shepparton Sports City at McEwan Reserve, kick-off 7.30pm. Tickets are available online and at the gate. Members receive free entry to the match. Not a member yet? Sign up as a Melbourne City member today!