Head Coach Michael Valkanis has named his Melbourne City squad for Saturday’s important trip across the Tasman to face Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium.
After being deprived of several first-team players through a combination of injury and suspension, the cavalry has returned for the Head Coach, who has made a total of six changes to the squad from last Saturday’s gritty 2-2 draw with Brisbane Roar at AAMI Park.
Captain Bruno Fornaroli and Socceroos striker Tim Cahill are available for selection in the final-third after returning from suspension, while Luke Brattan and Fernando Brandan will also provide added attacking impetus after completing their respective bans.
The return of defenders Osama Malik and Manny Muscat – who also missed last week through suspension – will help ease the blow caused by the absence of Michael Jakobsen and Ivan Franjic, who are still a week away from returning to full fitness.
National Youth League champions Daniel Arzani, Brayden Crowley, Christian Cavallo and Yusuf Ahmed have made way for the inclusions, with two still to be omitted from the extended match day squad prior to kick-off.
Melbourne City FC squad: 1.Thomas SORENSEN (gk), 2.Manny MUSCAT, 3.Josh ROSE, 6.Osama MALIK, 8.Neil KILKENNY, 9.Nicolas COLAZO, 10.Anthony CACERES, 11.Bruce KAMAU, 12.Nick FITZGERALD, 17.Tim CAHILL, 18.Paulo RETRE, 21.Ruon TONGYIK, 23.Bruno FORNAROLI, 26.Luke BRATTAN, 27.Fernando BRANDAN, 34.Denis GENREAU, 36.Dylan PIERIAS, 40.Yaren SOZER (gk),
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 2.Manny MUSCAT (returns from suspension), 6.Osama MALIK (returns from suspension), 17.Tim CAHILL (returns from suspension), 23. Bruno FORNAROLI (returns from suspension), 26.Luke BRATTAN (returns from suspension), 27.Fernando BRANDAN (returns from suspension)
Outs: 14.Daniel ARZANI (omitted), 29.Braeydn CROWLEY (omitted), 35.Christian CAVALLO (omitted), 41.Yusuf AHMED (omitted)
Unavailable: 22.Michael JAKOBSEN (calf – 1 week), 5.Ivan FRANJIC (knee – 1 week), 20.Dean BOUZANIS (suspended – 4 weeks), 7.Corey GAMEIRO (ACL – season), 28.Steve KUZMANOVSKI (ACL – season)