Melbourne City will be back on the pitch this Sunday evening against Western United for the first time since a Club record win.
Now unbeaten across our last seven matches, Aurelio Vidmar will be hoping to see his side continue that momentum into the new year.
Here are a few things to look out for in our first fixture of 2024!
Keeping the goals flowing
We set a number of records last time out, ending 2023 with a bang – picking up the three points against Brisbane Roar in resounding fashion.
We found the back of the net a staggering eight times, our highest score ever in Club history.
Jamie Maclaren returned to form in a big way with a hattrick, while Leo Natel added a brace for his first Melbourne City goals. Curtis Good, Tolgay Arslan and Ben Mazzeo all got in on the fun, adding their names to the scoresheet too.
The goal-fest saw us extend our season tally to 21, now the equal second-highest scoring team across the A-League Men’s.
While a rule change communicated this week means goal difference isn’t as important as it used to be, Vidmar will have been pleased to see his team reach their full attacking potential.
This Sunday we come up against a Western United outfit who has struggled defensively so far this season, so expect your City boys to have their sights set on another big attacking performance.
We’ll be without our first-choice left-back, Aziz Behich, for the next few weeks as he’s currently with the Socceroos preparing for the Asian Cup.
Behich has been one of our best performers throughout the season to date, so replacing him will be a tricky task for Vidmar.
Our Head Coach has been consistent in his plans when speaking to media on the topic in recent weeks, Scott Galloway seeming to be in pole position to slot into the left side of defence.
Galloway got his first start since November in last week’s win over Brisbane, playing the full 90 minutes and getting some important match fitness under his belt.
The other possible options are bringing young gun Harry Politidis into the starting XI, or moving Samuel Souprayen across to left full-back and bringing in another central defender to partner Curtis Good.
Maintaining a strong record over Western
Our record against Western United has historically been a good one, although we did taste defeat for the first time in a while against them back in Round 1.
Tolgay Arslan quickly answered Lachie Wales’ 60th-minute opener with a brilliant solo effort, but a late Noah Botic penalty saw Western claim the three points.
Last season saw us finish with a perfect record against them, recording a trio of wins to the tune of 2-1, 4-0 and 3-1.
Overall we lead the head-to-head ledger with eight wins compared to five, while there has been just one draw in the 14 previous meetings.
Our skipper has also always enjoyed these contests, scoring 14 times in 13 appearances against the team from Melbourne’s west.
A-League Men: Round 11
Western United v Melbourne City FC
Sunday 7 January, 5:00pm KO