In the Mix: Adelaide v City

As Melbourne City prepares to face Adelaide United this Saturday, there will be several players vying for positions both in the matchday squad and starting lineup following another strong week on the track.

Manuel Pucciarelli’s preparedness for the fixture will be of interest to plenty of fans keen to see City’s Italian signing in action – and the good news is that the midfielder has taken another big step towards matchday involvement during the week. Pucciarelli started in a friendly against Avondale FC last Saturday in which several members of City’s senior squad were also involved, with the A-League Men’s side running out 2-1 victors. Now with several weeks of pre-season training and match minutes against competitive opposition under his belt, Pucciarelli will again be in contention to feature in this Saturday’s game.

Though Curtis Good and Nuno Reis put in a massive shift at the back last Friday, with fans impressed by the performances of both central defenders, the fitness of Rostyn Griffiths will also be of interest to ensure competition for those places. After missing the season opener with a shoulder injury sustained in City’s FFA Cup Round of 32 win over South Melbourne, Captain Scott Jamieson confirmed in his pre-match press conference that Griffiths will be available for selection this weekend.

Fans may have been surprised to see Nathaniel Atkinson on the bench against Brisbane following his three-assist performance against South Melbourne, but the young right-back faces stiff competition for a place in the starting XI as City’s squad continues to strengthen. His right-sided defensive counterpart Scott Galloway had netted three goals in two games when he was selected to face Brisbane, whilst to feature on a wing Atkinson would have been competing against fully-fledged Socceroos Mathew Leckie and Andrew Nabbout. However, competition for starting places is a fantastic dilemma to have and Atkinson performed well in City’s friendly against Avondale last week and with a strong week on the training pitch, he’s ensured he’s at the front of Patrick Kisnorbo’s mind when it comes time for team selection.

A youngster who appears to be on a rapid trajectory towards A-League Men’s involvement, Jordan Bos, was another who featured in the Avondale friendly but outdid his senior counterparts by opening the scoring amidst a strong performance overall. Playing at left-wing instead of his usual left-back position, the youngster was able to work on different aspects of his game and will be all the better for becoming a more versatile player. Already this pre-season, Bos has signed a three-year contraction extension at City, played for the Australian U23 team and made his competitive debut for City in the FFA Cup as he looks to establish himself as Scott Jamieson’s deputy at left-back. No doubt Bos will look to capitalise on his momentum and vie for a place in the matchday squad as he seeks out his next achievement at senior level: an A-League Men’s debut.