Melbourne City is heading west this weekend, gearing up to face Perth Glory at Macedonia Park this Saturday night.
City bounced back from three consecutive draws in emphatic fashion last time out, recording a dominant 6-1 win over Macarthur at AAMI Park.
Here’s a few things to keep your eye on in Saturday’s late-night clash!
Rado locked in
Rado Vidosic took over as interim Head Coach back in late November following the departure of former boss Patrick Kisnorbo, and earlier this week was appointed on a permanent basis until the end of the 2024/25 season.
City has continued right where it left off since Vidosic took the reins, having extended its lead on top of the table to seven points with a game still in hand – in which it of course leads 1-0.
Having started the season coaching the A-League Women’s squad, Vidosic made the seamless transition to the Men’s side of things, where the side has gone undefeated in its last seven fixtures.
With Vidosic now officially at the helm for the remainder of the 2022/23 A-League season, City can now turn its attention to bringing a third consecutive Premiers Plate to Melbourne.
City bounce back in big way
While City may have failed to capitalise on the chances created in front of goal in weeks prior, it all came together last time out against Macarthur with the side simply looking a class above the opposition.
Following a run of three straight draws, City sent a reminder to the rest of the competition of just how dangerous it can be, finding the back of the net a whopping six times across the 90 minutes.
Having quickly become a fan-favourite, Dutchman Richard van der Venne produced a performance of world-class quality, netting the first City Men’s hat trick by somebody not named ‘Jamie Maclaren’ since 2016.
Meanwhile, Maclaren was back to his goal-scoring ways too, recording a two-goal performance as he continues to edge closer to 100 goals in City colours.
Squad settled as it heads towards finals
With Vidosic’s future at the helm secured for the next few seasons following this one, the City squad is now settled as it heads towards the backend of the 2022/23 campaign.
The January-February transfer window closed earlier this week, with several clubs around the league scrambling to add pieces to their squad before the end of the season.
However, unlike most clubs, City were extremely quiet on the transfer front, not needing to make a single signing.
Only one player left the club during the window, with City saying goodbye to young midfielder Taras Gomulka who made the move to Brisbane Roar.
Sitting pretty at the top of the table, City boasts incredible depth in just about every position across the park, a frontline of Socceroos stars and a midfield that looks a class above the rest – why mess with a winning formula?
How have our opposition been travelling recently?
Currently sitting seventh on the table, Perth has now recovered from a slow start to the season that saw it only record seven points from its opening nine games.
Undefeated in their past six fixtures, Glory has recently recorded three wins and three draws as they continue to jostle for positions in the middle of the table. Perth has been particularly strong at its new home of Macedonia Park where City will be travelling to on Saturday, yet to taste defeat at the venue.
Its most recent fixture was a 2-2 draw with the Newcastle Jets where it looked like it was on track to take home the full three points, only for an Archie Goodwin goal in the dying stages forcing it to share the points.
What happened last time?
City fans will have happy memories from our last meeting with Perth Glory, which came back in November last year.
A comfortable 4-0 win saw City record its fifth consecutive win to open the season, thanks to a double from Jamie Maclaren and goals from Socceroos teammates, Matthew Leckie and Marco Tilio.
Perth only managed one shot that day, while City racked up 19 itself and had 63% possession.
A-League Men: Round 16
Perth Glory v Melbourne City
Saturday 11 February, 10:30pm KO (AEDT)