It’s been a long time coming but the first Melbourne Derby of the 2020/21 season is almost upon us as we take a look at two of the players we’re expecting to be at the forefront of Saturday night’s battle.
Craig Noone has continued to be a threatening attacking outlet for City this season, linking up well with teammates Jamie Maclaren and Andrew Nabbout to create a deadly strike force.
𝑪𝒍𝒂𝒔𝒔 𝒘𝒊𝒕𝒉 𝒂 𝒄𝒂𝒑𝒊𝒕𝒂𝒍 '𝑪'.
Nooney and Luna combine for the opener away from home!
— Melbourne City FC (@MelbourneCity) February 3, 2021
One man who will be very familiar with the Melbourne Derby atmosphere is Robbie Kruse, given the Victory man’s record of three goals in his three Derbies to date.
At 33, Noone is a year older than his Victory counterpart but both players are in their second season at their respective Melbourne clubs, with Kruse also having an additional previous stint at our cross-town rival 10 years ago.
Both forwards have featured prominently for their respective sides this year, playing eight and seven games respectively.
Noone has seen an extra 145 minutes than Kruse, one of the reasons why the City winger emerges as the more prolific across several attacking categories.
— Melbourne City FC (@MelbourneCity) January 16, 2021
Noone has scored once and provided two assists, whilst Kruse is yet to record in either statistic.
Creatively, Noone is dominant once again, playing 17 key passes to Kruse’s nine, and a whopping 14 crosses to Kruse’s zero.
That being said, the Victory man has split his time between playing wide and through the middle.
This slight difference in roles and positioning is reflected in Kruse’s superiority in successful dribbles (nine compared to Noone’s six) and shooting, given his eight shots at 37.5% accuracy versus Noone’s seven at 28.6%.
The Victory man is also the more prolific foul-winner, having drawn 20 to Noone’s 12.