5 things to look forward to: Melbourne Derby


A first Melbourne Derby for season 2020/21

394 days.

That’s how long it will have been since the last Melbourne Derby when we take on our crosstown rivals this Saturday.

It’s definitely been an agonising wait for fans but there are certainly positive signs heading into the clash, especially given our recent turnaround in form and the fact that we’ve not lost the first Derby of a season since the 2016/17 campaign.

Here’s hoping that trend – and our recent form – continues this Saturday.

Three in a row?

Following Tuesday night’s win on the road over Western Sydney Wanderers, City have successfully strung together consecutive wins for the first time this season.

The feat will certainly be a confidence-booster for the boys as they recover from a slow start to the season, and there’s no doubt that a third win on the trot will be the next step for the group.

A third-consecutive victory would propel the team back into the top-half of the table, a destination that all involved will want to remain throughout the rest of the campaign.

Nabbout returning to face his old side

One man who will be very familiar with this Saturday’s opposition is former-Victory winger Andrew Nabbout.

The 28-year-old made a total of 73 appearances across all competitions for City’s crosstown rival in the space of two stints with the club.

Having joined Melbourne City over the off-season in 2020, Nabbout will no doubt be looking to score his first goal for his new club this Saturday, and the identity of the opposition may make that achievement even more significant.

Further opportunity for Connor Metcalfe to establish himself in midfield

Following his breakout FFA Cup campaign in 2019, Metcalfe looks to have become a regular in the City midfield having started in every game this season.

The 21-year-old makes 39.4 passes per 90 minutes at a success rate of 83.5%, and those passes having an even directional spread, owing to his central role.

Having played six key passes this season and netting a beautiful curling effort against Brisbane in the opening round, Metcalfe also contributes significantly to City’s attacking output.

Both Adrian Luna and Florin Berenguer were late-outs ahead of the Wanderers game, though a return could be on the cards for the pair on Saturday.

If they are to return, it will be interesting to see how City’s midfield looks come Saturday night.

Flo and Luna’s return on the cards?

After tweaking his ankle in the warm-ups before the Wanderers matchup, ruling him out of the game at the last-minute, Florin Berenguer looms as a potential inclusion to the matchday squad for Saturday’s Derby clash.

Adrian Luna also missed Tuesday’s clash due to a hamstring niggle but both players have been included in the extended squad for Saturday’s fixture.

Berenguer plays a pivotal role in City’s attacking transitions and the team did well to secure the three points on the road without his presence in midfield, but that being said, his potential return to the team will be a welcome addition.

The Frenchman has recorded six key passes and one assist in his six games played this campaign, and will be looking to score in back-to-back Derbies following his goal against the Victory in Round 18 last year.   

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