Melbourne City FC will be on the hunt for a third consecutive AFC Champions League win as it looks to continue its strong start to its inaugural campaign on Matchday 4.
Following a first up draw to Thailand Champions BG Pathum, City has now picked up maximum points in its last two fixtures against Filipino club United City and South Korea’s Jeonnam Dragons.
You can watch all of City ACL fixtures live via 10play or Paramount+!
City will take on Jeonnam Dragons once again, just three days after picking up a hard-fought 2-1 win.
Here’s what you should be keeping an eye out for when the teams meet again on Sunday night:
Defensive discipline to continue
City was pushed hard for the ninety minutes by a resolute Jeonnam side, leaving Patrick Kisnorbo pleased with his squad’s defensive efforts when speaking post-game.
City has conceded just twice at the midway point of the Group Stage, and discarding a forgettable Melbourne Derby, had also picked up three consecutive clean sheets not long before departing.
While of course anything can happen on any given night, City’s defensive struggles from earlier in the season seem to now be a thing of the past.
The depth within the back four has been key to this defensive improvement, with all of; Curtis Good, Nuno Reis, Rostyn Griffiths, Jordon Hall, Carl Jenkinson, Kerrin Stokes, Jordan Bos and Scott Jamieson seeing minutes over the last month.
Where do the goals come from?
While City certainly fought hard to pick up all three points on Sunday, a statistic fans certainly won’t be used to seeing was just the two shots on target.
This was all Kisnorbo’s men would need to get the win, but they will no doubt be looking to create plenty more chances when the teams meet again.
Andrew Nabbout has been perhaps City’s best player of the Group Stage thus far, finding the back of the net in each of his two appearances.
Marco Tilio has been another standout with a brace against United City, but having now started all three fixtures, may be in line for a rest.
City fans will also be hoping to see a certain number nine on the scoresheet for the first time this campaign, with Jamie Maclaren now goalless in his last four appearances, something fans aren’t used to seeing such is the high standards the star striker has set for himself.
Mathew Leckie could too be a welcome return to the XI, with the Socceroo winger being assessed daily as he looks to overcome a minor groin injury.
The Group G table
We’re now at the midway point of the Group Stage and currently sitting behind BG Pathum only on goal difference.
It’s clearly been proven that there are no easy games in the ACL, so you wouldn’t expect Kisnorbo or any of the squad to be looking any further ahead than Jeonnam on Sunday.
That being said, with BG Pathum taking on United City again after recording a 5-0 victory last time out, our midweek clash against the Thai side will likely go a long way to deciding who tops the group. We’ll have to pick up another three points against the Dragons on Sunday beforehand though, which of course we’re backing the boys in to do.
AFC Champions League Group Stage: Matchday 4
Jeonamm Dragons v Melbourne City FC
Sunday 24 April, 9:00pm (AEST)
Pathum Thani Stadium
Live on 10play/Paramount+