Melbourne City will be looking to put the events of last Saturday behind it when it hosts Central Coast Mariners on Tuesday evening.
Last time out saw just 20 minutes of play as a pitch invasion from Melbourne Victory supporters robbed fans of what was shaping up to be a great contest, with the players eventually sent for early showers following a lengthy delay.
This wasn’t before Aiden O’Neill netted one of the better City goals in recent memory, also his first for the club as he edges closer to his 50th appearance.
A ten-day break has given the City squad plenty of time to mentally refresh as it prepares for a post-Christmas clash against the Mariners.
It’s set to be a ‘Socceroos Summer Showdown’ with almost a quarter of Australia’s World Cup squad set to be in action. Jason Cummings, Garang Kuol and Danny Vukovic will all be coming to town, while we doubt we need to remind you of our representatives.
The kick-off time has been slightly pushed back given the expected extreme heat, but given our City boys have played just 110 minutes of competitive football in the last six weeks (20 in the last 17 days come Tuesday), there’s no need for Rado Vidosic to even consider the idea of squad rotation.
The only concern comes in the form of goalkeeper Tom Glover, but Vidosic confirmed in his pre-match press confidence that City’s number one had passed all the relevant checks and would be out there on Tuesday night.
Perhaps flying under the radar was a couple of big selection calls for the Derby, with Jordan Bos preferred at left-back over captain Scott Jamieson, while Marco Tilio started in place of Andrew Nabbout.
It remains to be seen whether Vidosic will stick with the young duo, but with plenty of time on the training track between matches, the competition for spots has certainly been heating up.
Hosting the Mariners at AAMI Park will bring back fond memories for City fans, with the famous 2021 ‘Plate Night’ one of the club’s 10 consecutive wins at the venue over the Central Coast outfit.
The Nick Montgomery coached side will be eager to see the back of that record and comes into Tuesday night’s clash in some good form off the back of consecutive wins over Sydney FC and Newcastle.
A-League Men: Round 8
Melbourne City FC v Central Coast
Tuesday 27 December, 5:30pm KO