What to watch for: City v Western United

It’s been a mixed back of results over the last week for City, throwing away a two-goal lead against Adelaide United last Saturday night, before bouncing back with a win against Hume in the FFA Cup mid-week.

The Champions will return home to host Western United in the Isuzu Ute A-League this weekend, click here to get your tickets.

Here’s what to keep an eye out for in Saturday night’s clash:

LMN to continue gelling

With all the hype around City’s all-Socceroo front three in the lead up to Round 1, fans were bound to come away feeling a little disappointed that none of Mathew Leckie, Jamie Maclaren or Andrew Nabbout were involved in the goals against Brisbane Roar.

The trio was more involved in City’s Round 2 draw against Adelaide though, with Nabbout assisting Maclaren for the first goal before finding the back of the net with a ripping outside-of-the-boot strike from distance in the second half.

Leckie joined the party during the week too – scoring his first goal for the Club in our FFA Cup Round of 16 win.

The process of getting all three-star forwards on the same page will take time of course, but fans will no doubt hope that the combination sees even more improvement in Round 3.

A 90-minute performance

Though the City boys have had a midweek win against Hume to bounce back from a disappointing result last Saturday, Patrick Kisnorbo will no doubt be demanding a complete 90-minute performance from the team when they face Western United at home this weekend.

All three of City’s goals conceded in the league have arrived in the final third of the game thus far, in which time the City boys have failed to score a goal themselves. This lack of a clinic edge has seen us drop points already this season and with back-to-back league titles our goal for the 2021/22 campaign, there will be little room for further slip-ups at crucial stages of matches.

Western’s differing striking options

After losing the A-League Men’s all-time top goalscorer in Besart Berisha over the off-season, Western United needed to find a replacement to lead the line in 2021/22.

To have recruited both ex-Brisbane Roar man Dylan Wenzel-Halls and Serbian international Aleksandar Prijović, it’d be fair to say that they’ve more than accomplished their goal.

For City however, this means our defensive unit and coaching staff have to plan for how to contain two very different moulds of striker. Wenzel-Halls is a nippier forward with the ability to play on the shoulder of the last defender whilst also possessing the relevant technical qualities to aid him on the dribble. Prijović, at 191cm or 6’3”, is a much more prominent aerial threat, netting around a quarter of his historical goals with his head.

With none of City’s outfield players able to match the striker for height, and with Wenzel-Halls also to possibly contend with, it’ll be up to Kisnorbo and the coaching staff to mastermind individual strategies to contain either forward, depending on who starts (if not both!).