The Melbourne Derby is back this weekend as Melbourne City takes on cross-town rivals Melbourne Victory at AAMI Park on Saturday night.
Looking to bounce back from last weekend’s 2-1 defeat to Sydney FC on the road, City will be eager to find itself back in the winner’s circle and continue its strong start to the 2022/23 campaign.
Despite the loss there was still good signs from the encounter in Sydney, the teams first hit out since the World Cup break.
Jamie Maclaren opened the scoring, converting from the penalty spot to extend his goalscoring streak to seven games.
Maclaren is now only a goal away from equalling the current A-League Men’s record of eight consecutive games set by Andy Keogh back in 2016.
After coming off the substitutes bench following his return to the squad from Socceroos duties, Marco Tilio almost gave City an equaliser late in the piece, only for his shot to be denied by the crossbar.
Now returning home for its first home fixture in over a month, City had previously been turning AAMI Park into quite the fortress, with the side losing only one of its last 13 regular season games played at the venue.
City has also had the bragging rights over Victory in recent times, unbeaten in seven of the last eight encounters between teams.
It was again Maclaren who scored the opener when the two teams last met in October, with City running out eventual 2-0 winners.
Victory comes into Saturday’s match off the back of a 1-0 win over Macarthur, with Ben Folami scoring a late winner in the 84th minute.
They’ll will be eager to win back some bragging rights from City but will have to do it the hard way with City’s defence proving to be a serious force this season.
A win on Saturday would solidify City’s position at the top of the A-League Men’s table and leave it with an impressive record of six wins, one draw and one loss heading into the Christmas period.
Isuzu UTE A-League: Round 8
Melbourne City FC v Melbourne Victory
Saturday 17 December, 7:45pm kick-off