Melbourne City FC defender Michael Zullo is relishing the prospect of playing in his first Melbourne Derby when City take on Melbourne Victory at Etihad Stadium on Saturday night.
With both City and Victory looking to register their first wins of the season after picking up Round 1 draws against Sydney FC and Adelaide United, respectively, Zullo said an early win against their cross-town rivals will provide a huge momentum boost for the rest of the season.
“Everyone at the club is looking forward to this weekend, it’s a massive game for us as a Club and as players it’s something we look forward to. It’s a game I really want to be a part of and I want to play in,” he said.
“All three games against Victory are probably the biggest apart from the finals so for us, the focus is on winning on Saturday because that could be a massive step forward for our season.”
Despite Victory failing to score in their opening fixture, Zullo is savouring the task of facing one of the strongest attacking teams in the competition.
“We know Victory were the best team in the league last year and they’re probably still the most dangerous side in the league so far, so they will be pretty hard to deal with,” he said.
“But if we want to be among the best clubs in Australia, we have to beat the strongest teams as well and as champions, everyone is out to get [Victory] this year and I’m really excited to test ourselves as a team and as a unit against the best attacking team in the league.
Zullo was an unused substitute in the Club’s 1-1 opening round draw in Sydney after returning from injury, but is ready to kick-start his City career with a strong debut performance.
“I’ve had another week of training under my belt and hopefully it’s going to do me the world of good,” he said.
“I’m hoping to make a difference from the start, make a difference in the game and contribute to us getting the three points against Victory.
“It’s a perfect scenario to think you can make a difference or play a role in a game in that environment so it’s something I’m really looking forward to and I think it should be an amazing game.