ALM Preview: Western Sydney v City

Everything is on the line for Melbourne City this weekend, set to face the Western Sydney Wanderers in a clash that could decide the final A-League Men’s Finals spot.

Fresh off an ALM record 8-0 win last time out, City will be full of confidence against a Wanderers side who have suffered back-to-back defeats.

Here’s what to look out for in this crucial clash!

Finals ramifications

Heading into the penultimate round of the season, the top six is still far from settled.

Your City boys currently sit a point adrift of the Wanderers in sixth spot, meaning a loss would end our hopes of making it 10 straight Finals appearances.

A draw would keep our Finals hopes alive going into the last round of the season, but having our fate out of our hands is far from where we want to be.

As such, Aurelio Vidmar’s men will only have their eyes on all three points – looking to snap a disappointing run of form away from home.

Tolgay to continue his form?

While Vidmar stopped short of declaring him the sole best player in the league when speaking with media pre-match, one player who has been in scintillating form as of late is Tolgay Arslan.

Our number 10 netted the first hattrick of his storied professional career last Sunday, putting Perth Glory to the sword in another impressive performance.

The treble took Arslan up to a staggering 19 goals in all competitions this season, including seven in just his last five matches.

There is no doubt he’s been our most impactful player this season, and another strong performance from our midfield maestro will be key to us getting over the line on Saturday afternoon.

Also of note was Arslan’s new partner in midfield last time out, Mathew Leckie slotting in seamlessly and the duo creating a wealth of chances while being well-screened by Jimmy Jeggo behind them.

Will City pack the shooting boots?

Much has been made of our rollercoaster of a season, emphatic 8-1, 7-0 and 8-0 results all sitting in the wins column, amongst a few equally disappointing heavy defeats as well as a handful of scoreless draws.

Those results in large part have led us to be the second highest-scoring team in the league, although City fans fairly will be frustrated by the large gap between the team’s best and its worst.

The last time we faced the Wanderers was certainly one of the days where the chance creation and finishing was at its best, winning 7-0 at AAMI Park a little over a month ago.

Goals have been far harder to come by on the road this season though, so Vidmar will be hoping to see the likes of Arslan, Leckie and Leo Natel continue their strong form.

Match Details

A-League Men: Round 25

Western Sydney Wanderers v Melbourne City FC

Saturday 20 April, 3:30pm KO

CommBank Stadium

Live on Paramount+