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Published June 18, 2021 at 14:58:58

Match Preview: Semi Final

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Melbourne City FC and Macarthur FC are set to face off in the second Semi Final of the weekend to determine who will take their place in the A-League 2021 Grand Final.

It’s been a big week behind the scenes with Australian Professional Leagues electing to move this game to Sydney’s Netstrata Jubilee Stadium, in the process, denying City the home ground advantage it earned after finishing on top of the table.

The clash

After losing several key players to injury, international duty and plenty of squad rotation, City have endured an underwhelming run of form of late, taking just one point from our final three games of the regular season.

Most recently, we succumbed to a loss against Newcastle Jets despite having taken the early lead through Stefan Colakovski. The 21-year-old’s close-range finish was cancelled out by a superb curling effort by Archie Goodwin in the 23rd minute, before Apostolos Stamatelopoulos rose to head home an 89th-minute winner from Lucas Mauragis’ free-kick.

City went into the match without Craig Noone, who had been sidelined for several weeks, and lost Rostyn Griffiths and Andrew Nabbout by half-time, with both having sustained injuries in the opening period. The good news for City fans is all three have been named in the squad for Sunday’s Semi Final.

The youthful attacking trio of City did their best but couldn’t find their way past a resolute Newcastle defensive unit marshalled superbly by Nicolai Topor-Stanley, who made several goal-saving interventions on the night.

Determined to return to their best football, the City squad will be eagerly awaiting Sunday afternoon’s Semi Final clash with Macarthur FC in a bid to progress to a second Grand Final in as many years.

Macarthur finished the A-League regular season in 6th place, but pulled off an upset win over Central Coast Mariners in a game that went the full 120 minutes.

The final 2-0 scoreline to Macarthur was a fair reflection of the game, and a testament to the collective performance of the Bulls’ defensive unit, affording very few chances to a Mariners side that thoroughly impressed over the regular season.

Macarthur’s Matt Derbyshire was the closest challenger to Jamie Maclaren for the Golden Boot, with the striker finishing the regular season with 14 goals to his name. The Bulls will be without James Meredith, who received a red card in the 75th minute of his team’s Elimination Final against Central Coast.  

Team News

Melbourne City FC squad

1.Tom GLOVER (gk), 2.Scott GALLOWAY, 3.Scott JAMIESON (c), 4.Nuno REIS, 7.Rostyn GRIFFITHS, 8.Aiden O’NEILL, 10.Florin BERENGUER-BOHRER, 11.Craig NOONE, 13.Nathaniel ATKINSON, 14.Naoki TSUBAKI, 15.Andrew NABBOUT, 16.Taras GOMULKA, 17.Stefan COLAKOVSKI, 19.Ben GARUCCIO, 20.Adrian LUNA, 23.Marco TILIO, 33.Matthew SUTTON (gk) 35.Raphael BORGES RODRIGUES, 36.Kerrin STOKES, 39.Anthony LESIOTIS.

In: 11.Craig NOONE (returns from injury), 16.Taras GOMULKA (promoted), 36.Kerrin STOKES (promoted).

Out: 43.Alec MILLS (not selected).

Unavailable: 9.Jamie MACLAREN (national team duty/quarantine), 18.Connor METCALFE (national team duty/quarantine), 22.Curtis GOOD (national team duty/quarantine).

Match Details

A-League Semi-Final

Melbourne City FC vs Macarthur FC

Sunday 20 June, kick-off 4:05pm

Netstrata Jubilee Stadium

City vs MAC SF