Melbourne City FC will play its penultimate Group G fixture on Wednesday night when it takes on BG Pathum United at 9:00pm (AEST).
It’s shaping up to be the biggest match of the Group Stage with both teams remaining undefeated from their four previous fixtures, although BG Pathum sit two points clear having only drawn once – the previous meeting between teams.
You can watch Wednesday night’s match live via 10play or Paramount+.
Here’s what you should be keeping an eye out for on Wednesday night:
A contest with plenty at stake
While it isn’t technically a must-win clash to ensure City progress through to the knockout stages, it will be viewed as that by the team heading into Wednesday night.
In its debut AFC Champions League campaign, City currently sits in second place two points adrift of the current Group G leaders and Wednesday’s opposition.
The top team of the group automatically progresses to the knockouts, while the three best runners up from the East Region will also move on – meaning City doesn’t necessarily have to top its group to make to the Round of 16.
That being said, we have no doubt that Patrick Kisnorbo will be doing everything he can to ensure his team makes a return to winning ways and ends Wednesday night back on top of the group.
What was learnt from the first meeting
These teams previously met in the opening match of the Group Stage and the points were shared in what was a tense clash.
Andrew Nabbout opened scoring with a rocket of a strike from outside the box in the 22nd minute, only for it to be cancelled out before half-time by Teerasil Dangda.
Neither team could find an equaliser after the break but it was overall a good first up performance from Kisnorbo’s men.
Now with almost another two weeks of living, training and playing in in the Bangkok environment under its belt, expect City to be better placed for the second meeting – especially given it now has plenty of opposition footage to analyse from the previous Group Stage matches.
One factor that City hasn’t experienced since this opening match was impact of the home crowd. Although City will technically be the home team on Wednesday night, they’ll be a long way from AAMI Park and will again be playing at the home stadium of BG Pathum, like every other match in the Group Stage hub.
Creating enough chances
Coming up against BG Pathum who not only are the highest scoring team but also the best defensively thus far in Group G, City is certainly going to need to create a few more chances than we’ve seen in recent fixtures.
The absence of Florin Berenguer (hamstring injury) throughout the Group Stage has certainly been felt, while missing Marco Tilio (suspension) and Mathew Leckie (groin injury) in recent fixtures has left more of City’s X-factor and creative flair on the sidelines.
That being said, there’s still more than enough players capable of pulling off that key pass, moment of brilliance, or quality strike required to break down the BG Pathum defence.
City fans were also happy to see Jamie Maclaren back on the scoresheet over the weekend and will be hoping it was a sign of things to come with another big performance on the horizon for their number nine.
AFC Champions League Group Stage: Matchday 5
Melbourne City FC v BG Pathum United
Wednesday 27 April, 9:00pm kick-off (AEST)
Pathum Thani Stadium
Live on 10play/Paramount+