ALM Preview: The Melbourne Derby

A bumper crowd is expected for our second home Melbourne Derby of the season as our City boys search for a return to winning ways against arch-rivals Melbourne Victory.

After a winless fortnight on the road, we return home with 3 points on the mind in the Derby.

With a big crowd expected and strong home form this season behind us, a hard-fought 90 minutes is expected this Saturday night.

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Let’s take a look at some key talking points heading into this one.

Homecoming = back to winning form?

After a couple of disappointing results away from home, we return to AAMI Park with a great opportunity to bank an important three points.

Beaten just once at home in the league this season (Round 1 against Western United), ‘Fortress AAMI’ provides the perfect platform for us to kick on and spark a surge up the table.

Helping our cause is the Victory’s lack of…well, recent victories.

Having lost last time out at home to Macarthur 1-0 and not having won since January 6 in Perth, the 1-1 draws have stacked up for our opposition.

Our previously undefeated crosstown rivals will themselves be determined to bounce back as both sides look for the three points after the spoils were shared in December’s edition.

Tale of the Tape

The Melbourne Derby is a match with a tight history, the head-to-head split evenly at 15 wins apiece (to go with 12 draws) in all competitions.

We’ve had the more positive end of results most recently, winning two of the last five and coming out on the right side of last season’s ledger two wins to one.

With history producing everything from late winners to own goals and drama all around, this one could be set to be a dramatic game of close margins.

City Skipper Jamie Maclaren holds the record for most goals in the fixture with 10 all up), while fellow Socceroo Bruno Fornaroli has scored six in his appearances in the matchup – all but one coming in a City shirt.

Returning stars to light up AAMI

One of the positives we can take out of last week was a number of stars returning to the fold.

We saw Marco Tilio for a little over half an hour after his recent return to the Club, while Mathew Leckie entered the pitch as a half time substitute after coming back from a hamstring injury a week prior.

Marin Jakolis (equal 3rd in the competition for assists) came on in the second half and while ultimately unused due to how the game was going, Samuel Souprayen was also on the bench.

Jimmy Jeggo made his first City start and was one of our better performers on a tough night and once again we saw Terry Antonis on the scoresheet with a scintillating half-volley.

Callum Talbot (shoulder) and Nuno Reis (groin) have both been included in the squad as they look to make their return from injury, while new signing Vicente Fernandez could be a chance for his City debut.

There’s no better way to bounce back from a heavy defeat than a Melbourne Derby and you’d imagine Vidmar’s team won’t need any more motivation to go out and put everything on the line tonight.

Match Details

A-League Men: Round 17

Melbourne City FC v Melbourne Victory

Saturday 17 February, 7:45PM KO

AAMI Park, Melbourne

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