Melbourne City will return to action on Saturday night following a frustrating draw away to Western Sydney last time out.
The team is on the road again this weekend, set to face Brisbane Roar for the second time this season away from home.
Here’s what you should be keeping an eye on come Saturday night!
Missed chances a one-off?
If last week had been a game of FIFA, you could say it was entering ‘controller thrown’ territory. City dominated proceedings against the third placed Wanderers, having 66% possession and racking up a whopping 31 shots to 2.
Despite having all the running, City could only manage a point on the road thanks to Richard van der Venne’s 58th minute goal after going behind in the first half.
Boasting one of the most potent midfields in the competition, it’s no surprise that chances are coming at regular intervals for our men up front, it’s merely a matter of capitalising when it matters.
As it showed in the 4-0 against Western United just a week earlier, the lack of goals against the Wanderers can be simply put down to a day where things didn’t quite go our way, and fans will hope to see City back to its goalscoring best against the 7th placed Roar.
A reshuffle at last
City will be forced to make a change to the stating XI that hasn’t tasted defeat in four matches, with young left back Jordan Bos ruled out due to concussion protocols.
Bos, who has gone from strength to strength for City in the opening few months of the campaign, picked up a minor concussion in the second half of the game against the Wanderers on Sunday.
Head Coach Rado Vidosic has rarely tinkered with the winning formula that sees City sitting at the top of the A-League Men table, naming the exact same starting XI for the past five matches straight.
While the side may look slightly different come Saturday, Vidosic is fortunate to have club captain Scott Jamieson waiting in the wings ready to slot straight back in.
Jamieson has been appearing via the bench in recent weeks but will no doubt make the seamless transition into the starting side, especially at his usual position after deputising in the heart of defence earlier this season.
Strong recent record against the Roar
City has had the wood over the Brisbane-based outfit for some time now, winning six of its last seven A-League Men matches against the Roar – including three on the bounce.
To make matters worse for the Roar, they have struggled at home in recent weeks, winless in their last three matches in Queensland (D2, L1).
City currently sits at the top of the table and a win on the road over the Roar would go a long way to extending the gap between itself and the 2nd placed Mariners.
City to come out firing
After last weekend’s frustrating draw, fans can expect to see City come out firing in the opening exchanges.
Rado Vidosic’s men will no doubt look to press and control the tempo of the game in the first 15 minutes, and it is often that early work that sets the side up for success in the next phase of the match.
A third of City’s goals have come in between the 16-30 minute mark, with that tally of 8 goals topping our next best period of 5 goals scored directly after the break (45-60 minute mark).
While there are a number of potential factors that may play in to why City leads the league for goals scored in that 16-30th minute window, its world-class midfield certainly plays a big role.
Their relentless pressure and concentration even when the legs begin to tire allows the likes of Jamie Maclaren and Marco Tilio that extra bit of time and space to execute in front of goal.