Melbourne City FC’s Hyundai A-League 2014/15 campaign commences with an away fixture on Saturday evening as the Club travels to Allianz Stadium for Round 1.
After an exciting pre-season – which saw the Club travel to Manchester for a pre-season camp at Carrington Training Centre and take football to regional areas of Australia, including Ballarat, Bendigo, Alice Springs and Lismore – Round 1 matches John van’t Schip’s side with Sydney FC.
van’t Schip has recruited a number of players during the off-season, including Damien Duff, Robert Koren, Aaron Mooy, Erik Paartalu and David Villa on a guest deal from New York City FC.
Melbourne City FC will have a point to prove in the harbour city, after the Westfield FFA Cup ‘Battle of Ballarat’ was won by the Sydney-siders. A lot has changed since that chilly night in central Victoria and most notably, the inclusion of Villa.
The World Cup winner joined the side on Monday and has worked hard this week to feature in van’t Schip’s 18-man squad. How much of the match Villa will play is still undecided as van’t Schip looks to make a decision on the Spaniard’s fitness closer to kick-off.
Foxtel National Youth League player Ross Archibald looks to feature in Saturday night’s game with normal right back Jason Hoffman out from a carry-over suspension from last season.
Head to Head
Historically, goals are always a certainty in this fixture with 16 goals in the last five matches between the two clubs. Both strikeforces were bolstered over the winter break and the goal-scoring trend may continue on Saturday.
Sydney’s forward line has been revamped with Shane Smeltz and Mark Janko notable inclusions, but with Berni Ibini, Janko and Ali Abbas to miss Saturday’s clash through international duty, some of the sting may have been taken out of Graham Arnold’s strong attacking line-up.
However, Sydney’s front third still packs one of the biggest punches in the Hyundai A-League this season with Alex Brosque, Smeltz and Corey Gameiro all included in Graham Arnold’s squad.
Sydney FC were unbeaten this pre-season and have left ominous signs under Arnold. If the tight FFA Cup encounter was anything to go by, this will be an entertaining and tight match-up between two sides that believe in their respective footballing philosophies.
Broadcast and Coverage
Hyundai A-League Round 1
Saturday, 11 October 2014
Sydney FC vs. Melbourne City FC
Allianz Stadium, Sydney
The match will be broadcast live on FOX SPORTS 1 from 7:00 (AEST).
Follow Melbourne City FC’s Official Twitter Account and Facebook Page for all of the latest updates on match day. Check out our Coverage Map below to see when the match kicks off in key centres across the world.
Last 5 results v Sydney FC
(L) 1-1 (1-3 A.E.T)
Melbourne City FC Squad:
1. Andrew REDMAYNE (GK)
3. Robbie WIELAERT
5. Erik PAARTALU
6. Aaron MOOY
7. Iain RAMSAY
8. Massimo MURDOCCA
9. David VILLA
10. Robert KOREN
11. Damien DUFF
14. James BROWN
15. David WILLIAMS
18. Paulo RETRE
20. Tando VELAPHI (GK)
22. Nick KALMAR
23. Mate DUGANDZIC
24. Patrick KISNORBO (C)
26. Marco MARINO
27. Ross ARCHIBALD
***two to be omitted***
27. Ross ARCHIBALD (promoted – National Youth League)
4. Connor CHAPMAN (glandular fever – ongoing)
13. Jonatan GERMANO (calf – 3-6 weeks)
17. Jason HOFFMAN (suspended – 1 week)
19. Benjamin GARUCCIO (ankles – 3-6 weeks)
21. Stefan MAUK (international duties – Young Socceroos).
Sydney FC squad:
1.Ivan NECEVSKI (GK)
14.Alex BROSQUE (C)
20.Vedran JANJETOVIC (GK)
***two to be omitted***
Ins: Not Applicable
Outs: Not Applicable
22.Ali ABBAS (all international duty)
23.Rhyan GRANT (knee – indefinite)