Preview: Western United vs Melbourne City
It’ll be a historic evening when our City boys take on Western United this Sunday as we look to rebound from our FFA Cup Final loss by taking three points and maintaining our unbeaten start in the league.
Western United have been solid in their two fixtures this season, earning four points from matches against Wellington and Perth.
In the league, there’s not too many complaints that can be made with City’s opening to 2019/20, similarly tallying four points after a draw and a win against Victory and Adelaide respectively.
However, it only takes a look at our most recent heartbreaking result outside of the league to recognise that there is a LOT hanging over tomorrow night’s clash as we look to recover from our FFA Cup Final loss. Here are three talking points we’re looking at ahead of our Sunday evening clash against Western United:
The rebound game
We’re not going to discuss Wednesday night. Preferably ever again. That’d be nice.
What we will discuss is the fact that a win tomorrow night is a MUST.
Western United are in unnervingly decent form and Alessandro Diamanti looks set to be one of the better foreigners the league’s seen, but to put it blatantly, if we lose in the first-ever clash between these two teams, we’ll just about be the absolute joke of the league after the week that will have been.
If City are to prove to fans that we can still believe we’re genuine title contenders then there’s no better way to do that than to put Wednesday night’s capitulation behind us and get the three points in this historic matchup.
We identified this in our review of the FFA Cup Final loss, and we’ll reaffirm the sentiment now; Dean Bouzanis’ mistakes are no longer individual outliers, they’re a trend.
He’s absolutely not an incompetent keeper – not by A-League standards anyway – but these mistakes are starting to occur at such a rate that it can’t be tolerated any longer.
We honestly couldn’t tell you if Tom Glover’s going to perform any better if he were to start – he may even perform worse – but there’s no way to find that out until he gets given an opportunity to prove himself.
On the other hand, maybe Bouzanis should start tomorrow night, if only for the fan service of seeing him go face-to-face – nose-to-nose, if you will – with the old Derby villain, Besart Berisha.
Keeping it clean
Whilst it’s an early call to make, Western United don’t seem overly capable of scoring a great deal of goals this year.
They’ve netted just twice in two league fixtures so far, having defeated Wellington 1-0 and scrapped for a 1-1 draw with Perth. Their main attacking trio of Alessandro Diamanti, Scott McDonald and Besart Berisha are aged 36, 36 and 34 respectively whilst wing-back Connor Pain is pretty much an A-League standard player, though his counterpart Josh Risdon is a little more tricky to deal with.
Despite our opening round 0-0 stalemate with Victory, City would seem the far more likely to find the back of the net out of the two teams on Sunday, so if we’re able to keep a third consecutive clean sheet then the three points look pretty achievable.
Melbourne City are set to face Western United at GMHBA Stadium on Sunday, October 27. Kick-off is at 6pm.