5 things to look forward to: South Melbourne v City

Our long-awaited return to the pitch is almost here! Patrick Kisnorbo’s squad will return to the pitch on Friday night for their first competitive fixture since being crowned A-League Men Champions back in June. Here’s what we are looking forward to ahead of what’s shaping up to be a huge FFA Cup clash against South Melbourne.

The first competitive game of a new season

Your City boys are back!

It may be a new season, but we’ve still got the same, simple goal: Win.

With some fresh faces around the squad and an A-League Men’s league double to defend, the City boys will be looking to attack our Friday night fixture with a pent-up hunger and determination from a long pre-season.

We can’t wait for the familiar sight and sound of our City blue contingent back in the stands supporting our boys again and are excited to get our season started against South Melbourne on Friday night.

An intra-Melbourne Cup clash

With the FFA Cup’s Round of 32 draw came a host of high-profile clashes between A-League Men and NPL teams, with South Melbourne vs Melbourne City arguably the pick of the bunch.

The reigning Australian Champions will be coming up against a club renowned for its sizeable community following, with the clash set to take place at South’s home of Lakeside Stadium in Albert Park.

Friday’s opposition also has an impressive record in the competition, even making the Semi-Final in 2017, but City will undoubtedly be hoping to make a hard-fought victory over South Melbourne our first step on the way to a second FFA Cup trophy.

Live FFA Cup football is back!

In somewhat of a double-up point, City fans will be welcoming the return of both live football and FFA Cup action when the team plays its Round of 32 fixture.

The last time that fans were able to attend a live City match was – in case you needed a reminder – our 3-1 Grand Final win against Sydney FC to cap off the 2020/21 season back in June.

Fans have had to wait even longer to see City feature in the FFA Cup, with the Club not having played in the competition since the Final of the 2019 edition in October of that year.

Players and fans alike will no doubt hope that the end of these long waits can be marked with a big win to see us through to the Round of 16.  

Who stands up?

With Mathew Leckie, Jamie Maclaren and Andrew Nabbout set to miss the South Melbourne clash due to Socceroos duty, Patrick Kisnorbo will need a re-shuffle to fill the attacking void.

Stefan Colakovski and Marco Tilio have filled a similar void before, combining with Nathaniel Atkinson to see City through a successful Finals series earlier in the year, whilst the likes of Manuel Pucciarelli, Raphael Borges Rodrigues and Max Caputo could also be relied upon to fill out the front three.

Whichever attacking combination Kisnorbo goes with, the City boys will need to be at the top of their game to break through and find the winning goals against a defensively solid South outfit.

New signings in action?

With a new season comes the promise of seeing new signings in action and our first competitive fixture of the 2021/22 campaign will be no different.

The aforementioned triple absence of Leckie, Maclaren and Nabbout bodes well for the starting prospects of Manuel Pucciarelli, who joined City in September.

The Italian can play in midfield or as a striker or winger in the front three, so has a multitude of possible starting positions in Kisnorbo’s lineup to face South Melbourne.