Finals football is in the air!
It started last weekend with a pair of Elimination Finals, but the unmistakeable feeling of Finals football will certainly be setting in for Melbourne City fans this week as our clash against Macarthur FC on Sunday draws closer.
Last season, we were set the similar task of facing off with an A-League newcomer for a spot in the Grand Final, the City boys enduring the challenge of a spirited Western United outfit before striking back with two second-half goals to settle the tense clash.
Also similar to last year, we’ve also seen the carrot of playing our Semi Final at home disappear, with this game being moved to Netstrata Jubilee Stadium.
Hopefully we’ll be able to make a stronger start this time around and net an early goal to alleviate fans’ unease early on.
Qualifying for a Grand Final against all odds
There’s no doubt season 2020/21 has been a rollercoaster and things certainly haven’t been made any easier in recent times.
After already losing Jamie Maclaren, Curtis Good and Connor Metcalfe to Socceroos duty, we also have lost the right to host our home Semi Final.
We certainly have our backs against the wall, but it has all the makings of a famous victory and ultimately, a Championship triumph against all odds. C’mon City!
Jamo, the record-breaker
Aside from our massive Semi-Final clash on Sunday, there’s also the small matter of Scott Jamieson being on the verge of making a Club record 104th competitive appearance should he take to the field against Macarthur.
Jamieson currently sits on 103 games alongside fan-favourite David Williams, who featured for the club for a four-year period between October 2011 and January 2016.
Jamieson, City’s current skipper, arrived at the Club in July 2017 and isn’t far from bringing up four years on his stay.
An ever-determined leader amongst the squad, it will be team success at the forefront of Jamieson’s mind rather than his impending individual achievement, but there’s no doubt our fearless captain deserves a win, and maybe another goal, to mark his special occasion.
A decent record against Macarthur so far
As previously mentioned, this won’t be the first time that City have had to face a team in its maiden campaign in the Semi Finals, but we’ll be hoping that our solid record against A-League newcomers will be extended as it was against Western United late last season.
We'll take on the @ALeague new boys one last time this season in Sunday's Semi Final.
— Melbourne City FC (@MelbourneCity) June 16, 2021
City is yet to suffer defeat against Macarthur FC in 2020/21, securing a 3-0 win at home and a 1-1 draw away that was settled by a shock 77th minute Michael Ruhs equaliser.
A return on the cards for Craig Noone?
Undoubtedly one of City’s most important players this season, Craig Noone hasn’t featured for the team since scoring the winner against Central Coast to secure an inaugural Premiers Plate for the Club, but could see a return to action if he can prove his fitness before Sunday’s massive clash.
Nooney breaks the deadlock! 🤩
— Melbourne City FC (@MelbourneCity) May 22, 2021
The Englishman leads the league for chances created and is second only to Alessandro Diamanti for assists. Tied with Corey Brown on eight, Noone has every chance of finishing the campaign as the outright leader, given Diamanti (9) and Brown won’t be taking any further part in season 2020/21.
Besides that, Noone’s service from the wings and ability to cut inside to shoot will be crucial in his potential return for City, who will face stiff resistance from Macarthur’s backline on Sunday.