Melbourne City FC will be eyeing a second consecutive win to start the 2022/23 A-League Men’s season when it faces Brisbane Roar on Friday night.
Patrick Kisnorbo’s men got their season off to a great start with a strong performance against Western United but are now set for their first away trip of the new season.
A return to Suncorp
Given Brisbane Roar has played majority of its home matches at Dolphin Stadium in recent seasons, Friday night will mark City’s first fixture at Suncorp Stadium since January 2020.
Just four City players who started that night remain part of the squad for this season, with Craig Noone and Nathaniel Atkinson both on the scoresheet in what was a 2-2 draw.
Taking the venue out of the equation, City has enjoyed a nice run of form against Brisbane as of late, having suffered defeat just once in the last seven meetings between teams.
Who makes way at the back?
Plenty of fans would’ve been left scratching their heads in the early stages of our season-opener after seeing skipper and ever-reliable left back Scott Jamieson playing in the heart of defence.
Injuries to Nuno Reis and Curtis Good saw City’s centre-back stocks depleted, leaving the ultimate team man to step in. He was joined in the back four by Thomas Lam and Callum Talbot on their City debuts, along with Jordan Bos.
While a scrappy late goal ultimately denied City a clean sheet, Kisnorbo would’ve been pleased by what he saw from his defence on the night.
Good has been included in Friday’s squad and looks set to return to action, so the question now becomes who misses out?
You’d expect to see Good slot in at centre-back, meaning it’ll likely come down to Jamieson and Bos fighting for the left-back spot.
Another week, another milestone
After we last week celebrated Scott Jamieson becoming just the sixth player in A-Leagues history to reach 300 appearances, we’ve got another reason for celebration this week.
Star striker Jamie Maclaren is set to make his 100th City appearance, joining Jamieson, Curtis Good and David Williams as the only players to do so.
There’s been a long list of achievements throughout his career, the highlights being of course four A-Leagues Golden Boots (including the last three in a row at City), four PFA Team of the Season appearances, two Premierships and he’s of course City’s all-time leading scorer.
Another look at some fresh faces
There was plenty of excitement around last week’s season opener, with some new faces making their first competitive appearances in City colours.
Valon Berisha’s stole the headlines with a Player of the Match performance paired with a memorable post-match interview, but Talbot’s and Lam’s debuts were impressive too.
Talbot’s work rate down the right-hand side impressed all night as he came up with some key moments at both ends of the pitch, while Lam looked rock solid at the back for the 65 minutes of action he saw. Although he did leave the pitch through injury, Kisnorbo on Friday confirmed he’d recovered well from the knock and was in contention to again start this week.
Richard van der Venne will also be pushing for a City debut come this Friday night after the Dutch midfielder was an unused substitute in Round 1.