Your City boys are back in action this Wednesday following two weeks of COVID-enforced game postponements, with the team set to host Wellington Phoenix at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex.
The big news out of our most recent A-League Men’s game, the Melbourne Derby, was the sending-off of Jamie Maclaren, who will now miss City’s clash with Wellington.
Stefan Colakovski looms as one of the prime contenders to fill the void left by Maclaren up top, with Andrew Nabbout, Mathew Leckie, Manuel Pucciarelli and Max Caputo also capable of filling in as City’s striker on the night.
A place in the starting lineup would be an important step toward Colakovski’s return to regular Melbourne City action, having played only a handful of minutes in the Izuzu UTE A-League since his start against South Melbourne in the FFA Cup Round of 32.
A pair who may have benefitted from the additional time off over Christmas and the New Year is Mathew Leckie and Nuno Reis, who had initially been in doubt to face Wellington on December 22nd when the game was supposed to take place.
Leckie missed the Melbourne Derby with a slight niggle that he’ll need to have overcome over the break if he’s to feature in the Cup, whilst Reis was substituted off in the 66th minute with a hamstring issue in that game on the 18th. The state in which both players report back to training following two weeks off for recovery will determine whether they feature in Wednesday’s Cup clash.
If Reis were to miss, then Rostyn Griffiths may be in line for a first start since City’s last Cup fixture, having struggled with a shoulder injury in recent times. The veteran defender came on for his Portuguese counterpart in the Derby as he continued to build back to full fitness.
Head Coach Patrick Kisnorbo confirmed in his pre-match press conference that majority of the squad had contracted COVID-19, so depending on how each individual has recovered, it could be a very different City line-up to usual on Wednesday night.