Melbourne City FC will make its return to AAMI Park after a run of three-consecutive interstate wins that has seen the team into a great position atop the A-League Men ladder, with the City boys next set to host Sydney FC.
This will be the first meeting between the teams at the venue since last year’s epic Grand Final in which City secured its first-ever A-League Men Championship trophy.
The team is coming off a huge 6-0 away win against Wellington Phoenix over the weekend, a result that likely would have had plenty more shock value if not for City’s double Derby demolitions of Melbourne Victory last season. A win of this margin should have seemed incredible against a previously fourth-placed and in-form Phoenix side that had lost just two of its previous 11 league fixtures.
Even on the day such a result seemed unlikely given the way that Wellington began the first half, testing Tom Glover or passing up big opportunities on several occasions early, before being undone by a Finn Surman own-goal that ensured a 1-0 half-time scoreline.
After a mid-contest reset following the break, the City boys came out firing, putting five past Oliver Sail in the Phoenix goal. Mathew Leckie got things underway with his back-post tap-in from Florin Berenguer’s assist before Andrew Nabbout was able to reward his own good work with a goal after his pressing forced a turnover high up the pitch. Curtis Good was able to net his sixth A-League goal from a corner, before Marco Tilio netted an exhilarating nine-minute double after coming on as a substitute.
The result handed City a five-point buffer over nearest rival Western United, who have two games in hand, as well as bolstering the team’s already insurmountable goal difference to +20.
This lead will hopefully be added to with another massive three points against Sydney FC, who are coming off a 3-2 Sydney Derby win that came at the cost of a late red card for Rhyan Grant, who will miss the Grand Final rematch.
City and Sydney met earlier this season at Netstrata Jubilee Stadium in an enthralling clash that was decided at the death by a clinical strike from the edge of the box from Leckie, securing the 2-1 away victory.
Sydney has not beaten City at AAMI since November 2018, a trend that the team will be looking to continue in a quest to improve its form at the venue, where it hasn’t quite performed as well as it has in interstate fixtures this season.
Melbourne City FC v Sydney FC
Wednesday 6 April