Your City boys will return to the pitch on Thursday night, looking to put a couple of disappointing results behind us when we host Adelaide United.
It marks our first home game of 2024 with an important three points on the line as we make our return to AAMI Park after a couple of interstate away matches.
Here are a few of the keys to getting the three points on Thursday!
Who comes into midfield?
After Head Coach Aurelio Vidmar seemed to have settled on his preferred midfield three of Sakhi, Lopane and Arslan over recent weeks, he’ll now have to go back to drawing board following the departure of Sakhi for personal reasons.
Steven Ugarkovic saw plenty of minutes earlier in the campaign as the preferred defensive midfielder, so there’s every chance Vidmar opts to bring him back into the XI in that role on Thursday.
Terry Antonis shapes up as another good option to come in, playing an important role as a substitute and looking good in those cameos in recent weeks.
The other big watch will be on Andrew Nabbout and how many minutes he can play.
He played the full second half last week after around half an hour the week prior, so seems to be building up to a starting return. Given the short turnaround though, Vidmar may decide to use him as a substitute again on Thursday.
Staying strong at the back for the full 90
While we suffered back-to-back losses for the first time in almost three years, we’ve been pretty sound defensively for the most part over the last couple of matches.
The three goals we’ve conceded have come due to brief lapses, so Vidmar will need to ensure those are limited as much as possible if we’re to get back to winning ways.
Jordon Hall came into the starting XI last Sunday for just the third time in an A-League match and put in a pretty good shift, particularly in the first half.
Samuel Souprayen (groin) remains out and with the availability of Nuno Reis still uncertain as his wife awaits the birth of their third child, there’s every chance Hall remains in the XI to partner Curtis Good at the back.
While we won’t dwell on it for too long, there will be an extra little bit of motivation for our City boys in Thursday night’s fixture.
We’re set to take on Adelaide for the first time since our worst loss in club history when we played away earlier this season.
Level on points heading into Thursday’s fixture, it shapes up as a crucial clash if we’re to push up the ladder and challenge for silverware this season.
Although we’re sitting 8th on the table, a strong win could see us jump up to as high as third – such is the tightness of the competition this season.
A-League Men: Round 14
Melbourne City FC v Adelaide United
Thursday 25 January