Round 24 is here as City take on the Western Sydney Wanderers in Sydney's west. See all the points, stats and quotes ahead of the encounter.
In what could be a precursor to the first week of the Finals Series, City take on Western Sydney in a clash that could secure either side’s current position on the league ladder.
City come into the contest recording its first back-to-back wins since the opening rounds of the season and full of confidence with four goals and a clean sheet to boot. Brisbane’s loss to Adelaide has given Michael Valkanis’ side breathing space with three points on Friday going a long way to securing a home final.
After 23 rounds, the Wanderers finally recorded their first win at their temporary home of Spotless Stadium, defeating the Wellington Phoenix 3-1. In the five-month period they have been situated in Sydney’s Olympic Park, they have recorded five draws and a loss with their home wins coming away from Friday’s cauldron.
City Head Coach Michael Valkanis has added four players to the side from last Saturday’s clash with Newcastle with Dean Bouzanis, Michael Jakobsen, Denis Genreau and Daniel Arzani added to the extended side.
Tim Cahill exits the side as he joins the Socceroos for international duty. Full team news.
The last time
Despite the 1-0 score line in January’s fixture at AAMI Park, City were dominant in the performance, recording 12 shots to four and 70% possession in the win.
It was Ivan Franjic’s stunner that separated the sides as the full-back’s half volley curled into the top corner to give City the three points.
Stats and facts
- Melbourne City have won two and drawn one of their last four games against the Wanderers, more wins than they had earned in their previous 10 meetings with the Western Sydney club (W1, D2, L7).
- Melbourne City have won their last two games away from home, the last and only time they won more in succession was a three-game stint in December 2011.
- Melbourne City have attempted 325 total shots this season, the most of any team in the competition and 21 more than the Wanderers.
- Bruno Fornaroli has attempted 82 shots at goal so far this season, nine more than any other player and 36 more than the highest ranked Wanderer (Nicolas Martinez, 46).
What was said this week
“We have a big stretch of games in front of us. Two away games then our last home match then we need to go away to Perth for the last match. It’s four finals for us and in these games, we need to play the best football to take confidence in the finals when we go ahead.”
“We prepared very well for it so we are happy with the performance but we need to continue this way. We need to prepare for the finals so this is a good way to do it. Everyone focused on the work and this is perfect for us.” Full article.
Western Sydney midfielder Kearyn Baccus
“We’ve been confident since the Adelaide game and hopefully things continue onto this week’s game. “We’re in a lot better place than we were a couple of months ago but I think things are going to turn.”
“We’ve played good against them so far, we’ve just been unlucky. One red card last time we played them; we played with 10 men for the majority of the game. We limited them to not a lot of opportunities which is good but I think there’s a good chance of us coming away with the result this weekend."
Where and when
City take on Western Sydney Wanderers on Friday night, kick-off 7.50pm.
See the match live on Fox Sports 505 and SBSVICELAND, listen on SEN1116 and ABC Grandstand and follow the match on Social Media on our official Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts.
Our final home match of the season is in two weeks time as we take on Adelaide United on Friday 7 April, kick-off 7.50pm. Secure your place at the match today!