Melbourne City FC will be looking to make it two-from-two derby wins when they host Melbourne Victory in the annual Christmas Derby on Saturday night.
Head Coach Warren Joyce’s men defeated Adelaide United 2-0 at Coopers Stadium last Sunday, leapfrogging the South Australia based side to enter the upcoming round in fourth position.
City now sit five-points behind their city rivals, who sit in second position on the league ladder with 18 points from eight matches.
Joyce’s side took a 1-0 lead into the half-time interval after youngsters Lachlan Wales and Riley McGree combined on the wing, before the latter’s cross forced Jordan Elsey into finding the back of his own net.
In the 50th minute City would double their lead, as Luke Brattan’s low drive from outside the penalty area beat Reds shot-stopper Paul Izzo for pace. The home side produced a late rally as they looked to get themselves back into the contest, but were denied after Eugene Galekovic produced two excellent saves to secure the three-points.
City will look to make it back-to-back wins when they host Melbourne Victory this Saturday, although the task won’t be easy as they face the league’s top scoring side.
Kevin Muscat’s men defeated Brisbane Roar 4-2 at Suncorp Stadium last Friday night, after an entertaining six-goal first-half.
Victory attacker Kosta Barbarouses opened the scoring with a strike in the 13th minute, before in-form Roar striker Adam Taggart levelled the scoring. With all six goals scored in the first-half, Toivonen made it 2-1, before Keisuke Honda converted from the spot. Toivonen then pegged one back for the Roar, finding the back of his own net, before Barbarouses secured his brace and the three-points with a strike on the cusp of half-time.
With both teams coming off impressive performances, Saturday night’s clash is shaping up to be a blockbuster.
Last time they met
City defeated Melbourne Victory 2-1 in Round 1, as Riley McGree’s first A-League touch in City blue inspired City to a derby win at Marvel Stadium.
Victory marquee Keisuke Honda opened the scoring in the 28th minute, before Ritchie De Laet pounced on Florin Berenguer’s missed penalty to level the scoreboard on the stroke of half-time. Three-minutes into his league debut, McGree latched onto a brilliant through ball from Luke Brattan to secure the win with 20 minutes to play.
Curtis Good as been named in his first Melbourne Derby since the 2011/12 season while Ritchie De Laet is fit for the contest. See our full Team News.
What was said
Midfielder Luke Brattan
“We never lack confidence, especially in derbies. We won the first one which was fantastic and the young boys up front are doing a good job. We might lack a bit of experience, but we seem to be dealing with it fine.
Melbourne Victory Head Coach Kevin Muscat
“History can’t help us tomorrow night. It’s our attitude and performance that can only help us. We’ve had a few player come in and we’ve been able to get that continuity and hopefully we put on a performance that can get us the three points.”
Where and when
City host Melbourne Victory in the annual Christmas Derby at AAMI Park on Saturday 22 December, kick-off 7:50pm.