Melbourne City midfielder Florin Berenguer is set to miss the upcoming clash against Western United with a minor calf issue, with City coach Erick Mombaerts confirming the news during an online press conference earlier this afternoon.
Berenguer has been in impressive form throughout the second half of the 2019/20 season and will be sorely missed this Wednesday against the in-form United side, with Mombaerts disappointed to be confirming the news, “The team is in good health, we just have a little issue with Florin.”
“We (will) try to recover him well,” the French manager said of his compatriot, “I’m very optimistic that we can recover him for the Semi-Final.”
Mombaerts confirmed Connor Metcalfe as his preferred replacement in midfield.
Another absence that will need to be addressed on Wednesday will be that of Craig Noone, who misses the game through suspension following his sending off against Adelaide last week.
“We don’t want to change our shape and system,” Mombaerts started, “We have a squad, we can use other players.”
Those other players are then specifically named as Ramy Najjarine or Moudi Najjar.
“I want to play a left-foot on the left-wing,” Mombaerts said of his decision, seemingly ruling out alternative wingers Stefan Colakovski or Adrián Luna.
Looking ahead to the Western United clash, City’s French manager didn’t appear too concerned about showing his hand early against the side from Victoria’s west, despite the potential for a meeting between the teams come Finals.
“Now with video analysis all the other coaches can analyse and watch what we do,” Mombaerts said, though he gave an insight into what he wanted to see from his team in the upcoming clash, “We need to use our inverted wing-backs more … we need to be more difficult to read.”
On his side’s upcoming opponent, Mombaerts was full of praise, “They have a lot of experienced players so we have to respect this.”
“We have to play well. We have to play our game,” the Frenchman finished.