ALM Preview: Sydney FC v City

After gaining a share of the points in last weekend’s Melbourne Derby, a trip to Sydney awaits for your City boys.

Aurelio Vidmar will be hoping to see his side take another step in the right direction this Saturday evening when we face the Sky Blues at Allianz Stadium.

Here are a few of the major points of discussion heading into this one!

Does Vicente slot straight in?

A hard-fought 90 minutes in the Derby ended goalless, but there was one casualty on an injury front.

Unfortunately after stringing together a good run of games and coming into some nice form, Scott Galloway left the pitch just before the hour mark due to a calf complaint.

Speaking with media pre-match, Vidmar confirmed that the team would be without Galloway for the next few weeks due to the injury.

He does have the perfect replacement waiting in the wings though, new singing Vicente Fernandez, who made his debut last Saturday night.

Replacing Galloway for the final half hour, Fernandez showed some good signs in his first outing in a City shirt.

Having only arrived last week it probably is a little earlier than Vidmar was hoping to thrust the Chilean into the XI, but the City Head Coach confirmed he’s set to come straight into the line-up on Saturday.

Are any other changes required?

After the remainder of the squad came out of the Derby unscathed, there could be little need for Vidmar to make any tweaks to his XI other than at left back.

While it ultimately wasn’t the three points we were after, it was certainly an improved performance from City – showing plenty of hunger and fight across the 90 minutes.

The new-look midfield three of Jimmy Jeggo, Steven Ugarkovic and Mathew Leckie performed solidly in their first outing together.

Clear-cut chances were hard to come by, but you’d expect both Marco Tilio and Andrew Nabbout on the wings to continue to improve week-on-week as they integrate back into the XI.

Should there be any changes, you’d imagine Terry Antonis would be the most likely in midfield, while we’ve seen throughout the season that both Marin Jakolis and Leo Natel are reliable on the wings should Vidmar look to mix things up there.

Staying in touching distance

Just ten games remain in the season and while we are a long way from where we want to be, we’re only a few good performances away from rocketing up the table.

Following next weekend we will leave Melbourne just twice for the remainder of the season, providing a great opportunity to build some home form late in the season.

That makes the next fortnight on the road absolutely pivotal, the games against Sydney FC and Macarthur giving us the perfect chance to head into this run of home fixtures with some confidence and strong form.

Added to this is the fact that both teams are ahead of us on the table, virtually making these ‘six-point’ fixtures as we edge closer to Finals.

Fixture Details

A-League Men: Round 18

Sydney FC v Melbourne City FC

Allianz Stadium

Saturday 24 February,  5:00pm