Three games remain before the A-League Men’s competition breaks for the World Cup and City will be looking to continue its hot-start to the new campaign.
Having taken all nine available points so far, Head Coach Patrick Kisnorbo will be wanting more of the same this Sunday against Wellington Phoenix.
After a couple of away fixtures – although one of course was still at AAMI Park – City welcomes Wellington to the venue for its first proper home match since the season opener.
Last time out was a memorable Melbourne Derby for City fans with the damage being done early for the second time in as many weeks.
A Jamie Maclaren spot kick and own goal courtesy of a well-worked short corner from Marco Tilio and Valon Berisha had City 2-0 ahead prior to the 20-minute mark, before Victory skipper Josh Brillante was given his marching orders after a second yellow card 15 minutes later.
The focus now shifts to a Wellington who would likely feel a little unlucky to be sitting eighth on the table currently.
A pair of draws to Adelaide and Central Coast kicked off the Phoenix’s first full season back in New Zealand, while last time out they went down 3-1 away to Newcastle.
Despite currently being winless, they’ve shown plenty of promise throughout the early stages of the season with the likes of Ben Waine and Bozhidar Kraev causing plenty of problems for opposition defences.
While makeshift at times, City’s back four – along with goalkeeper Tom Glover – has begun the season in fine form allowing just one goal from the first three fixtures.
Kisnorbo is set to face a big call on the make-up of that defence, with a couple of big names a chance to return.
Nuno Reis is yet to play this season due to a hamstring injury, while captain Scott Jamieson was a late withdrawal last time out, and both have been included in this week’s squad.
Some strong performances across the defence will make it tough for any of them to be dropped, but the quality of the potential inclusion will definitely be giving Kisnorbo and his staff something to think about.
City hasn’t lost to Wellington in the league since February 2020, although the Phoenix will arrive in Melbourne full of confidence have ended City’s Australia Cup run in consecutive years.
Izuzu UTE A-League Men: Round 4
Melbourne City FC v Wellington Phoenix
Sunday 30 October, 5:00pm