This is the one you’ve been waiting for; our home Melbourne Derby is just one sleep away and it couldn’t arrive any sooner!
Melbourne City will be looking not only to bounce back from its 1-1 draw with Sydney FC but to do so emphatically when it comes up against a Melbourne Victory side still licking its wounds from that unforgettable 6-0 drubbing at Marvel Stadium last month.
The Victory were fortunate to pick up their third win of the season last round when they played literally the only team in the competition (marginally) worse than them in the form of the Newcastle Jets, who they narrowly downed 2-1 on Saturday.
City are set for some big inclusions ahead of the game, welcoming back Scott Jamieson and Aiden O’Neill who both return from injury.
Here’s three of the literal hundreds of things that we’re looking forward to ahead of the Melbourne Derby:
Most goals for vs most goals against = another 6-0?
The table’s looking pretty good right now; City in a position to go top, Victory languishing at the bottom.
Beyond that though, the table also reveals that the sides are respectively the league’s highest-scoring and highest-conceding teams, with the Victory having shipped six more goals than any other defence in the competition.
Realistically, City’s forwards should be licking their lips at the prospect of another MASSIVE scoreline and that’s exactly what the objective should be for all involved on Saturday night.
Even more reason for City to belt their Derby opposition, the starting lineup is set to be bolstered by some big-name inclusions for Saturday’s game, with Scott Jamieson and Aiden O’Neill both returning from injury.
City has won just two of the five games it has played without Jamieson this season, whilst O’Neill was recruited as a nailed-on starter before an injury in Round 2 kept him on the sidelines for over three months.
With City’s defence having looked a little shakier in the past three games since the end of our six-game winning run, the inclusions of Jamieson and O’Neill only make Victory’s already slim chances of scoring even more unlikely.
There’s plenty of reasons to be positive about this Saturday’s Derby, but the team faces significant pressure to collect all three points in the encounter nonetheless.
Having already passed up two opportunities to go top of the league, the Derby looks like it could be our final chance to capitalise on our games in-hand; a loss would see us fall behind Adelaide despite having played an equal number of games, whilst also being a minimum of two points behind Central Coast who would have played one game more than us by the end of the night.
The alternative would see City collect all three points against the Victory and move two points clear of Adelaide (same games played), whilst our overall position would be determined by the outcome of the Western United-Mariners clash, with a potential to move into first with a draw or loss for the away team in that one.
As we barrel towards the business end of the season, maximum points is the only acceptable outcome as we seek out a strong position to start building a points-buffer on the chasing pack.