A-League Preview: Western Sydney v City


The clash

Melbourne City will be looking to extend their unbeaten run when they take on Western Sydney at ANZ Stadium on Saturday night.

Prior to last week’s international break, Head Coach Warren Joyce’s side defeated Sydney FC 2-0 at Leichhardt Oval in Sydney, their first win against the Sydneysiders since the 2015/16 season.

In soggy conditions following a heavy downpour in Sydney, the game got off to a slow start with chances few and far between. In the second-half, City stamped their authority on the contest as Shayon Harrison netted his first goal in City blue.

Kearyn Baccus pounced on a turnover in the midfield before sliding the youngster through on goal, Harrison making no mistake, with a composed finish from inside the area with just under half an hour to play. In the 79th minute, the 21-year-old was again involved, this time producing a well-timed volley which took a wicked deflection to make it 2-0, securing the points for the visitors.

Joyce’s side will be looking to make it back-to-back wins in Sydney when they return on Saturday to take on the Wanderers.

Markus Babbel’s team will be looking to bounce back following their disappointing 3-1 loss to Wellington Phoenix at Westpac Stadium in Round 22.

An electrifying opening half an hour from the ‘Nix saw them take a 3-0 lead into the break, as Roy Krishna, Mandi and David Williams all found the back of the net. In the 71st minute, Alexander Baumjohann had a golden opportunity to peg one back, although his spot kick was placed wide. With four minutes of regulation time remaining, Mitchell Duke made it 3-1, in what proved to be merely a consolation goal.

Last time they met

Last time the two teams met Melbourne City staged a remarkable late comeback to run out 4-3 winners at AAMI Park in Round 15.

Ritchie De Laet opened the scoring for the hosts inside the opening minute, before Roly Bonevacia converted a spot kick to make it 1-1 in the 28th minute. On the stroke of half-time City restored their lead through Luke Brattan.

In the early stages of the second period it was one-way traffic in favour of the Wanderers, two quick goals from Tass Mourdoukoutas and Jaushua Sotirio saw the visitors take a 3-2 lead. With six minutes remaining, City equalised as De Laet secured his brace to make it 3-3, before Bart Schenkeveld’s towering header from a corner in the 90+4’ minute secured the win.

Team news

A number of key inclusions headline this week’s squad. See our full Team News here.

What was said

Head Coach Warren Joyce

“During this [international break] period, you’re trying to, not re-focus but make the focus more tunnel vision looking towards the finishing line… We’re just looking at every game, we want to win every single game we play in.” 

Where and when

City take on the Wanderers on Saturday 30 March at ANZ Stadium, kick-off 7:50pm, before returning to AAMI Park in Round 24, hosting Brisbane Roar on Friday 5 April, kick-off 7:50pm.