You won’t want to miss this. The unbeaten Sky Blues host Kevin Muscat’s Victory, fresh from smashing six on Monday night in Melbourne. Get set for a Big Blue ripper in the Harbour City this Saturday night.
Saturday, 5 November 2016
Sydney FC v Melbourne Victory
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
Kick-Off: 7:50PM (Local) (7:50PM (AEDT))
Referee: Chris Beath
Assistant Referee 1: Ryan Gallagher
Assistant Referee 2: Lance Greenshields
Fourth Official: Stephen Lucas
TV Broadcast: Live coverage on Fox Sports 505 from 7.45pm (AEDT) and Sky Sport 2 (New Zealand)
Radio Broadcast: Online & via the ABC Radio Mobile App – A-league Live, 1116 SEN (Melbourne), EON Sports Radio (eonsportsradio.com)
Join the conversation on Twitter using the hash-tag #SYDvMVC
To purchase tickets visit www.aleague.com.au
Sydney FC squad: 1.Vedran JANJETOVIC (gk), 4.Alex WILKINSON, 5.Matt JURMAN, 6.Joshua BRILLANTE, 7.Michael ZULLO, 8.Milos DIMITRIJEVIC, 9.BOBÔ, 10.Milos NINKOVIC, 11.Bernie IBINI, 13.Brandon O’NEILL, 14.Alex BROSQUE (c), 17.David CARNEY, 18.Matt SIMON, 19.George BLACKWOOD, 20.Danny VUKOVIC (gk), 21.Filip HOLOSKO, 22.Sebastian RYALL, 23.Rhyan GRANT
**two to be omitted**
Ins: 11.Bernie IBINI (promoted), 19.George BLACKWOOD (promoted)
Melbourne Victory squad: 2.Jason GERIA, 4.Nick ANSELL, 6.Leigh BROXHAM (c), 7.Marco ROJAS, 8.Besart BERISHA, 10.James TROISI, 11.Mitch AUSTIN, 13.Oliver BOZANIC, 14.Fahid BEN KHALFALLAH, 15.Alan BARO, 16.Rashid MAHAZI, 17.James DONACHIE, 19.George HOWARD, 20.Lawrence THOMAS (gk), 22.Stefan NIGRO, 23.Jai INGHAM, 27.Alastair BRAY (gk)
**one to be omitted**
Ins: 19.George HOWARD (promoted), 23.Jai INGHAM (promoted)
Outs: 5.Daniel GEORGIEVSKI (collarbone – 3-4 weeks)
Unavailable: 21.Carl VALERI (soreness – 1 week)
Can anyone stop the rampaging Sky Blues?
Four games, four wins, zero goals conceded and 11 goals scored. It’s hard to remember a more dominant start to a Hyundai A-League season.
Some of their play in the first hour of their 2-0 win over Newcastle Jets was sublime. And Graham Arnold says they still have a fair bit of improvement in them too.
It’s a scary thought just a month into the 2016/17 Season.
While Sydney FC have swept all before them so far this season, a Big Blue against bitter rivals Victory is their biggest test.
Victory are the Sky Blues’ bogey team. Sydney hasn’t tasted success against them for more than two years – or nine games.
Musky appears to have the blueprint to beat Arnie and it will be intriguing to see the tactical battle at Allianz Stadium.
And more ominously, Victory rediscovered their ruthless streak in front of goal by swatting Wellington 6-1 on Monday night (albeit a 10-man Phoenix for the most of the second half).
There is an injury blow for Victory with Daniel Georgievski out for a few weeks with a broken collarbone, meaning Muscat will find a new option at left-back. The experienced Leigh Broxham or youngster Nigro are the most likely options.
Clashes between these two rarely disappoint and we should get a highly entertaining encounter between two title contenders. Expect a fierce atmosphere and a finals-like intensity on Super Saturday in the Harbour City.
ROUTE TO GOAL
If the past is anything to go by, expect drama in this one as well as a few goals.
There’s only been two scoreless Big Blues since 2011, and the corresponding fixture at the start of last season was a six-goal thriller.
While the Sky Blues have yet to concede all season, Arnold will be wary of Victory’s improving front three.
Victory scored six against Phoenix with Berisha bagging a hat-trick, Rojas a double and Mitch Austin the sixth goal. They appear to be clicking at the right time.
The pace of Austin and Rojas on the flanks – and their battles with fullbacks Rhyan Grant and Michael Zullo – could well be where this one is decided.
And don’t forget James Troisi. The Asian Cup Final hero came off the bench against the ‘Nix on Monday and may get a start after overcoming his injury with no issues.
Sydney are blessed with many different options in the front third that Graham Arnold had the luxury of dropping David Carney to the bench last week.
Skipper Alex Brosque made his first start and scored again, while Milos Ninkovic is adding goals to go with his excellent creative flair from midfield.
If those two don’t get you then there’s also striker Bobo, Filip Holosko and impact star Matt Simon to come off the bench.
It’s a scary thought.
WHO’S BEEN IN THE SPOTLIGHT THIS WEEK?
Besart Berisha. The feisty Albanian was back to his best against Phoenix, bagging a hat-trick to join Bruno Fornaroli at the top of the scoring charts. ‘Bes’ just loves playing the Sky Blues too.
FORM LINES (last four games)
Sydney FC: WWWW
Sydney FC 2-2 Melbourne Victory