What to watch for: United City v Melbourne City

Melbourne City FC will close out its AFC Champions League Group Stage when it faces United City FC on Matchday 6.

Kicking off in the early hours of Sunday morning (12:00am AEST), City will be looking to return to winning ways after back-to-back draws.

You can watch this clash live via 10play or Paramount+.

Here’s what you should be keeping an eye out for on the final Matchday of the Group Stage!

Results elsewhere

While we’re of course looking forward to our match against United City, we’ll also have a keen eye on what’s happening elsewhere as we hope to qualify for the knockout stages.

Although we may well go through the Group Stage undefeated, there remains the possibility that we could miss the Round of 16 as our destiny lies outside of our hands.

There are two possible avenues for qualification, either as the top team in Group G, or as one of the best ranked second placed teams in the East conference. The most likely scenarios for qualification being we top the Group, where we’d require Jeonnam Dragons to beat BG Pathum and then we’d have to win our clash with United City.

Should BG Pathum win or draw, we’d need Vissel Kobe to defeat Kitchee SC over in Group J to ensure we’d finish as one of the highest ranked second placed teams.

Who plays? Who gets a rest?

A feature of City’s line-ups throughout the Group Stage has been rotation, unsurprising given the hot and humid conditions compared with the short turnarounds for each and every fixture.

Other than back-up goalkeepers plus the recently cleared Scott Galloway and 16-year-old Max Caputo, every City player has seen the pitch across the first five Matchdays.

Our last clash with United City saw the most rotation we’ve seen so far, with plenty of big names either appearing off the bench or being completely rested.

Another interesting spanner into the works for this Saturday night’s clash is City’s fast-approaching return to A-League Men action. The Premiers Plate race sits on a knifes edge, with City set to return home via Perth to take on the Glory next Wednesday, before playing its final game of the season at home on Monday 9 May.

Whether this factors into Head Coach Patrick Kisnorbo’s thinking remains to be seen, but we’ll all be eagerly anticipating the line-up come Saturday night.

Bringing confidence back to Australia

As mentioned, City’s return to A-League Men action is less than a week away as the team aims to grab another piece of silverware after last season’s double.

Following back-to-back draws, City fans will be hoping to see a strong performance and three points to finish the Group Stage on a high note and head back to Australia full of confidence.

As it did when it left, City does sit top of the A-League Men table but dependant on results back home this weekend, that may not be the case when it returns.

Whether it’s a full strength or heavily rotated squad, one things for certain and that is that every player, coach and fan alike will all be hoping to see a big win on Saturday night.